Friday, October 19, 2012

North Dakota Election 2012 Part 2

Congressman Rick Berg (R) decided not to seek re-election to the House of Representatives only two years after winning the seat. The chance to sit in the open Senate seat was just too tempting and he is now in a tough race with former North Dakota Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp (D).

The result of Berg's decision is that is now an open Congressional seat in the state as well.

North Dakota has only one seat in the House of Representatives chosen at large by the voters of the state. For many years it was held by the Democrats until Rick Berg (R) wrested it away from Earl Pomeroy (D).

The choice for President in North Dakota seems a foregone conclusion  Since 1964, they have always voted Republican. Mitt Romney can probably call this one of the safer states he has.

This doesn't mean there isn't room for Democrats. For a time, the state had two Democrats in the Senate and one in the House of Representatives. In the past two years that dropped to only one: Senator Kent Conrad (D). He retired this year.

Exciting times for North Dakota. The Republicans have chosen a candidate close to the Tea party movement. Kevin Cramer, Commissioner of the North Dakota Public Service Commission that regulates utilities,  is a two time loser in running for the Congressional. Most of his jobs since the 1990s have come from state posts tied to the Republican governor.

The Democrats have chosen Pam Gulleson, a fifth generation farmer and presently a staff officer of the North Dakota Farmers Union. She served in North Dakota House of Representative from 1993 to 2009 as well as chief of staff to former Democratic Senator Byron Dorgan for nine years.

There have been no recent polls out on this election race but some media are calling it an competitive race. There may be some ticket splitting as voters weigh a vote for Romney with how they vote for the Senate and House of Representatives.

In terms of Canada, it appears that both candidates are strong supporters of the oil and coal industry. How this plays out for Canada is anyone's guess but pipelines are a debate that will have happen after this election take place.

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