Cramer Ready to Challenge Pomeroy in North Dakota

Posted January 14, 2010 at 1:02am

North Dakota Public Service Commission Chairman Kevin Cramer (R) is set to announce a run for North Dakota’s at-large seat Thursday, creating what could well be nine-term Rep. Earl Pomeroy’s first competitive race in years.

Though he did not officially disclose his plans, state Republican party chairman Gary Emineth said it is “pretty much understood around the state” that Cramer is announcing his congressional candidacy. The contact information on the statement concerning Cramer’s announcement details — Cramer for Congress — is also a give-away.

Cramer challenged Pomeroy twice in the 1990’s and though he lost both times, he held the incumbent to a vote share in the mid-50s in both races. Pomeroy won his 2008 re-election with 62 percent of the vote. Republicans hope that the turning of the tide against Democrats this election cycle can push Cramer over the top in 2010. And they are emboldened by Sen. Byron Dorgan’s (D) recent retirement and the announcement by popular Gov. John Hoeven (R) that he will run for Dorgan’s seat.