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U.S. House: Berg, Cramer, Poolman consider bids for Republican nomination

FARGO A contest could be shaping up among North Dakota Republicans vying for the nomination to challenge Rep. Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D. Several current or former Republican officeholders are considering a run against the incumbent congressman, includi...

Kevin Cramer
U.S. Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D.

FARGO

A contest could be shaping up among North Dakota Republicans vying for the nomination to challenge Rep. Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D.

Several current or former Republican officeholders are considering a run against the incumbent congressman, including Rick Berg, a Fargo state legislator who officially added his name on Thursday to the list of possible challengers.

"Washington needs some fresh leadership," said Berg, who has served as the Republican majority leader in the state House. "They need a fresh perspective."

Meanwhile, a Democratic leader on Thursday signaled that Pomeroy is in a strong position to seek re-election, saying he had raised almost $360,000 in the final quarter of 2009 and his campaign fund has almost $1.4 million in cash.

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"This shows just how well-positioned Earl Pomeroy is to be re-elected to the House of Representatives in November," said Mark Schneider, chairman of the North Dakota Democratic-NPL Party.

Pomeroy, first elected in 1992, stressed his seniority and influential committee assignments when he announced Wednesday that he would seek another term.

Since Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., announced Tuesday that he would not seek a fourth term, speculation has swirled that Republican Gov. John Hoeven would run for the open seat.

Republicans are buoyed by that prospect, and have said Hoeven's popularity would help the Republican candidate who opposes Pomeroy.

"It would be a real treat to run with John Hoeven," said Berg, who acknowledged that a run for a U.S. House seat would be a big commitment in terms of time and money. He is weighing those demands with family considerations.

"This is not something that I want to delay too long," Berg added of his decision timeline.

Republican Kevin Cramer, a member of the Public Service Commission, who twice before tried to unseat Pomeroy, said he is giving serious consideration to a third try.

Jim Poolman of Bismarck, a former state insurance commissioner and legislator, also has said he is weighing a possible run for Congress.

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But two other Republican members of the Public Service Commission said Thursday they are not running for Congress.

Brian Kalk, whose supporters started a fan page for a House run on Facebook, said he was flattered by the encouragement, but not interested. Tony Clark also said he is not interested in seeking any other office this year.

The Forum of Fargo-Moorhead and the Herald are Forum Communications Co. newspapers.

Former N.D. Insurance Commissioner Jim Poolman
Former N.D. Insurance Commissioner Jim Poolman

Related Topics: KEVIN CRAMERRICK BERG
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