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North Dakota tea party forms new political caucus

A group of North Dakota conservatives have formed a new political caucus, but it's not a third party. In a Wednesday statement, the North Dakota Tea Party Caucus announced its formation and said the group "promotes citizen involvement in the poli...

A group of North Dakota conservatives have formed a new political caucus, but it's not a third party.

In a Wednesday statement, the North Dakota Tea Party Caucus announced its formation and said the group "promotes citizen involvement in the political process with a commitment to founding principles as set forth in the Declaration of Independence and the U.S. Constitution."

Organizing members include Grand Forks political activists Randy Richards, City Council member Terry Bjerke and former state Rep. Don Dietrich, as well as statewide figures such as Gary Emineth, the former chairman of the North Dakota Republican Party.

The caucus said it's not intended to be a third party, but likely will be involved in fundraising, activist training and candidate recruitment.

"The creation of this caucus takes the tea party movement in the state of North Dakota to a higher degree of influence," said Perry Schumacher, one of the caucus' organizers. "The constituency this will create will affect policy at all levels by uniting conservatives residing all over our state."

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The caucus plans to encourage formation of local chapters, collaborate with national tea party organizations and promote fiscal responsibility.

"While we may not have the ability to start the world over again as the founding fathers did in 1776, we can stop and reflect on what brought us to where we stand today... we can begin to return to our roots and keep the beacon of hope shining like a 'city on a hill,'" Emineth said.

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