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STATEMENT: Pomeroy on decision to run for re-election to U.S. House

U.S. Rep. Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D., issued a statement today about his intention to run for re-election to the House rather than seek Byron Dorgan's Senate seat:...

U.S. Rep. Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D., issued a statement today about his intention to run for re-election to the House rather than seek Byron Dorgan's Senate seat:

"I was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives. I intend to seek reelection to the U.S. House of Representatives.

"I have been very privileged to serve as part of our very talented team with Senator Byron Dorgan. Part of our winning strategy for North Dakota has been to serve and accrue seniority and positions of influence in the House and Senate. We know about the powerful chairmanships held by our Senators. You do not get these chairmanships in the Senate with timed served in the House.

"I have represented North Dakota as our only vote in the House. I have been able to get on the most powerful committee, Ways and Means, where I now serve as a senior member. In addition, I have been the only member to also hold a seat on the Agriculture Committee.

"No state of the fifty has a smaller congressional delegation than we have. Now the prospect of me forgoing reelection to the House and seeking a Senate race would put in place a situation where two of the three in the delegation would be freshman. We would have gone from a position where we hold powerful chairmanships by each of our Senators and senior status on Ways and Means Committee to a position where we would have a brand-spanking-new House member and a brand-spanking-new Senator. If one runs for Senate from the House, you start at the back of the line just like everyone else.

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"I have been a freshman. Back in 1993 I came to the House and worked diligently to make sure North Dakota's voice was heard. It has become an ever more challenging assignment. The place has become polarized, and I believe absolutely that it has become bedeviled by gerrymandered lines that create ideologues from the left and right in all of those districts. There is no gerrymandering the state borders of North Dakota.

"I represent all of the state of North Dakota. That means I have tried to take a centrist approach, working with Republicans and Democrats, and whoever necessary to advance the interest of our state. As this question has been presented to me, "would you like to run for Senate?" I never saw it in that light. For me, the question has been, "how can I best represent North Dakota?"

"There is no question in my mind that I can best advance our interests as a senior member of the House with positions of senior responsibility on the most powerful committee rather than as a brand new freshman reporting to the Senate on our behalf with a congressional delegation of two freshmen. For that reason, as well as in order to continue the work that I have advanced in the House - fighting for agriculture in an urban dominated chamber, fighting for common sense in a polarized place, fighting for tax relief for North Dakota families, fighting to improve Medicare and Social Security for our seniors - I have concluded that I will seek reelection to the U.S. House of Representatives."

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