Don Lemon, Grand Forks
Kevin Cramer has run for the N.D. seat in the U.S. House of Representatives three times already. Twice he was chosen as the Republican Party candidate. On the third run he was beaten in the party primary. He skipped the Republican primary this year and Brian Kalk was chosen to run, but Cramer beat him in the primary. Cramer finally got elected as a N.D. Public Service Commissioner. But, did you know he accepted $20,000 from regulated interests to fund and pay off his runs for the U.S. House seat for which he is now being sued. He also accepted money from the Club for Growth and other groups who want to kill the Farm Bill and to end Flood Insurance. And, so far as I know, he has no Washington work experience.
On the other hand, Pam Gulleson was elected and served 16 years in the N.D. House and then worked for nine years as Sen. Byron Dorgan's chief of staff. She knows her way around both Capitols.
One wonders if the strategy is to just run Cramer over and over and eventually the party will say, "Well, OK, if he wants the job that much?" Isn't a better question, who would represent our state interests best?
And there is a directly related issue. Just two years ago Rick Berg ran for this very same office. The voters turned out the incumbent and replaced him with Berg who said he would represent the interests of N.D. Still, I can't find a single vote in which Berg did not vote with the Republican majority in the U.S. House. It seem very unlikely that every single idea from a group with as many varied interests as the Republicans would unfailingly have only good ideas that would uniformly help North Dakota. It seems more like a political ideologue who isn't able to distinguish what ideas would be in the best interests of his state. It also rankles me that in less than a week after being elected to the House, Berg began a vigorous campaign for election to the Senate. Doesn't seem like he appreciated his election to the U.S. House by voters.
Fortunately, there is a better option in this case as well. Heidi Heitkamp served N.D. well as Attorney General and has made it clear that there are things she would intend to change if elected to the U.S. Senate.
Let's send these two exceptionally capable women to Washington, D.C., to break down the deadlock and get the people's business done.