Hoeven ends suspense, enters Senate race

2010-01-11T23:20:00Z Hoeven ends suspense, enters Senate raceBy REBECCA BEITSCH Bismarck Tribune Bismarck Tribune
January 11, 2010 11:20 pm  • 

After weeks of speculation, Gov. John Hoeven told Republicans what they wanted to hear: he’s running for the Senate.

Hoeven made his announcement in front of a crowd of Republican supporters and politicians and behind a campaign sign reading Hoeven for U.S. Senate.

The packed crowd at the Doublewood Inn in Bismarck chanted “bring it on, John,” as he prepared to enter a race gaining more national attention after Sen. Byron Dorgan’s decision not to seek re-election.

Hoeven, America’s longest-serving governor, touted his successes in office, pointing to low unemployment and lower taxes, saying the same approaches that have worked in North Dakota should be brought to Washington.

Paul Sorum, a Fargo architect and political newcomer, had been the only declared candidate in the race.

In his speech, Hoeven criticized Washington on cap and trade, the stimulus, health care, and the deficit.

“Ladies and gentlemen, cap and trade will only hold back energy development and raise energy prices for hardworking American families.”

He also took jabs at Congress on health care policy.

“Washington’s approach is to put a 2,000-page bill between you and your doctor. Instead of government-run health care, let’s provide people with tax credits so you can chose your own health insurance plan and your own provider,” the governor said.

Hoeven told reporters he came to the final decision to enter the race during the holidays, before Dorgan made his announcement.

“The only difference I would say is that really just accelerated our time line on making an announcement,” Hoeven said.

He does not intend to step down from his post as governor, saying he is committed to his responsibilities in the office.

Lt. Gov. Jack Dalrymple said he is prepared to take over more responsibilities while Hoeven balances the campaign with the governorship.

“What’s going to be happening in the next nine months is that we’ll be running a governor’s office and we’ll also have a guy running for the U.S. Senate at the same time, and that means lots and lots of work for me and a lot of other people,” Dalrymple said.

A statement by the North Dakota Democratic Party was quick to address losing a veteran Democrat like Dorgan, and potentially replacing him with a freshman in the minority party.

Hoeven said his track record shows he can make a difference for North Dakotans.

Democrats, who have yet to name a candidate to replace Dorgan, accused Hoeven of being an opportunist, and wanting to leave office mid-term.

“Less than two years ago the governor asked the people of North Dakota to elect him as governor, and now he wants to move on,”

North Dakota Democratic Party Chairman Mark Schneider said in a statement. “We’re not surprised by the timing, considering that Hoeven has always changed his mind to best fit the political climate.

He did start out as a Democrat, after all.”

Several Democrats are being mentioned as possible Senate candidates.

Former attorney general and one-time Hoeven challenger Heidi Heitkamp said she is giving a Senate campaign some thought. Her brother, Joel, also said he’s considering the race.

Kristin Hedger, who ran against Al Jaeger for secretary of state, said she is  considering a run. 

Hedger, vice president for Killdeer Mountain Manufacturing, said she has gotten pressure from the state Democratic Party to make a decision quickly.

“I think it’s the sooner the better from their vantage point,” said Hedger, 29, who will be 30 before election day.

But Hedger said the decision was a very personal one that would depend on the support of her colleagues and family, as well as ensuring other projects wouldn’t suffer.

“It’s the responsibilities already on my plate and analyzing how those will be taken care of,” Hedger said.

The race for North Dakota’s House seat is heating up as well. A number of Republicans have acknowledged they are considering challenging Rep. Earl Pomeroy, who is running for his 10th term in office.

Public Service Commissioner Kevin Cramer plans to make an official announcement on Thursday about his future political plans.

Commerce Commissioner Shane Goettle also is considering the race.

“There are a lot of moving parts and among the moving parts I’m considering my options,” said Goettle.

State Rep. Rick Berg, R-Fargo, also said he was thinking about joining the race but did not give a timetable for a decision.

(Reach reporter Rebecca Beitsch at 250-8255 or rebecca.beitsch@bismarcktribune.com)

Copyright 2015 Bismarck Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

(24) Comments

  1. legend
    Report Abuse
    legend - January 13, 2010 9:10 am
    Quoting the first line of the article... "After weeks of speculation, Gov. John Hoeven told Republicans what they wanted to hear: he’s running for the Senate." I just wanted to point out the mistake in this sentence. This is actually what the DEMOCRATS wanted. Someone even more liberal than Dorgan to replace him. Congratulations to the King Rino!
  2. Scott
    Report Abuse
    Scott - January 13, 2010 8:56 am
    To Dakota Gal

    Do you realize one night say the same thing about the Clinton presidency. Those where good times and he really didn't do anything to make it happen, it is not politicians that make this country work and be prosperous it is hard working individuals and buisness that make this country what it is, politician want to create the illusion that they do so much for us when I think the opposite is true.
  3. Bob the birther
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    Bob the birther - January 13, 2010 8:13 am
    Its being reported this morning that Goldman Sachs is going to pay out 70 billion in bonuses. (This is our taxpaper money)

    My union leaders are telling us Obama is going to crush us with tax increases on our insurance plans.

    Kathleen correctly reports that oil has nearly tripled in price since the dems took total control.

    The democrats apparently have no answers for the problems they campaigned on.
    They are not fixing anything.

    Bring back the conservatives, the dems blew it already.


    Hope and Change, LOL
  4. maNDanJim
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    maNDanJim - January 13, 2010 7:54 am
    Hoeven is garbage.
    Report Abuse
    SCIENTIST - January 12, 2010 8:39 pm
    I love how all the libs like to point out that their failures in life were someone elses fault. It's time for self accountability. Quit your sniveling and try to become successful like most North Dakotans. It's not what you have in the bank but what you have in your heart.
  6. Milton
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    Milton - January 12, 2010 8:33 pm
    lw...read what i wrote. bet all you want.
  7. still lw
    Report Abuse
    still lw - January 12, 2010 8:06 pm
    And I'm betting you're one of those liberals, Milton. Darn it anyway, huh?
  8. Milton
    Report Abuse
    Milton - January 12, 2010 7:35 pm
    and lw...how many cheney-bush supporters saw these guys for what THEY really were....colossal failures at nearly everything they tried to influence? ......i think we know the answer to both questions.... these career politicians know how to use us....they know how blindly loyal-stupid most of us are... look at fox news and the crap they pull.....and they use it well.
  9. still lw
    Report Abuse
    still lw - January 12, 2010 6:27 pm
    My bet is that there's a whole crap load of liberals that are wishing right about now that they would have gone with Hillary and skipped the whole Obama scam.
  10. Milton
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    Milton - January 12, 2010 5:57 pm
    this just in people....no matter who you elect, they will eventually be owned by corporate america....GO TEAM GO!!!!! and send them some money, they like that...a lot!!!
  11. smooter
    Report Abuse
    smooter - January 12, 2010 5:12 pm
    I certainly agree with Pet Guard. "Bring It On,John" You have my support. Just remember who you are down there because you are fair and level headed. Do Not Change. Much Much Luck TO You!
  12. Kathleen
    Report Abuse
    Kathleen - January 12, 2010 4:19 pm
    According to CNBC contributor John Kilduff of Round Earth Capital, we will soon see the price of reach $100 per barrel.

    "Oil is hitting a 15-month high at $83 a barrel and it was $30 about a year ago," Kudlow said. "So, Interior Secretary Ken Salazar rules drilling of oil and gas out of bounds for federal lands. No drilling.

    We need to use the resources we have.

    By the way, Plug in cars won’t pay off for consumers for 15 years. The extra costs of the batteries alone will take 15 years to pay off from any savings on gasoline.

    Drill baby, drill. Bring some logic and common sense back to the White House.
  13. Kadizzle
    Report Abuse
    Kadizzle - January 12, 2010 3:49 pm
    As the planet realizes coal is not a viable option, the country will be forced to go to other fuels. Electing a Republican obstructionist that is a lap dog to the coal lobby will help seal our doom. What the country needs is one more Republican Senator saying no to any type of progress. Health care is a good example. If we already had a right wing supporter of doing nothing health care would have already failed. Health care reform is for the common working people. Republican represent no one but the rich. This will be the demise of North Dakota a 100% state of backward conservatives that love what Bush has done to us. What happens if the Democrats decide to take away our subsidies? North Dakota will slip into the dark ages. When Bush wrecked the train the people of North Dakota never got the news, now they want to send another Republican to a place where he can garner tax breaks for those on top. North Dakota did not notice trickle down is a total failure. Send in a guy who will run a play that has proven to fail every time. North Dakota strategy. No, No, No, drill baby drill, the is no global warming, we can put exhaust pipes on these dinosaurs. You might sell this to the North Dakota Hoopleheads, but it will not be an easy sell to those in other states that sign our welfare checks.
  14. Kathleen
    Report Abuse
    Kathleen - January 12, 2010 3:29 pm
    A good thing for North Dakota. Hoeven will represent us well.

    Looks like there will be many changes this year -

    CNN Poll: Plurality Of Americans, 48%, Think Obama’s Presidency Has Been A Failure

    Obama’s “Green Jobs” Will Cost $175,000 Each...for part time.

    True Unemployment Is Likely Near 22%

    CBS: At least 20 congressmen went to Copenhagen on taxpayer dime

    Why Health Care Costs Are Inflating: Out Of Pocket Expenses Have Plummeted Since 1965

    Other the other hand:
    Dems at risk in 8-9 Senate seats in 2010
  15. PetGuardian
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    PetGuardian - January 12, 2010 2:43 pm
    You've got our vote, John... Bring it ON!! :)
  16. Dakota Gal
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    Dakota Gal - January 12, 2010 2:42 pm
    Almost any business manager can be successful when times are good for the business. The true test of managerial and leadership abilities comes when things aren't so good. Hoeven is largely untested during tough times. In this economic recession that is devastating the rest of the world, ND has been fortunate enough to have resources that are still widely sought after by the rest of the country and, even with the taxes imposed on the oil and gas companies by leaders with true foresight and planning ability long before Hoeven's administration, the companies are willing to do business here. As the President of the Bank of ND, Hoeven also oversaw times of prosperity and little adversity in that business. While he is not as green or untested as Sarah "I can see Russia from my doorstep" Palin, he will be small potatoes in the national setting. I don't disagree that he will be tough to beat, especially given the lack of experienced leadership in the ND Democratic party, but only time will tell if he will enjoy any success whatsoever as a US Senator or if his inexperience, coupled with an ego that seems to have been fed by people who don't understand the benefits of leading during flush times or the growth that occurs when leading during tough times, will show him in a poor light.
  17. Kadizzle
    Report Abuse
    Kadizzle - January 12, 2010 2:28 pm
    The rooster crowed yesterday and the sun came up. It happened again today, so I am sure it is the rooster crowing that brings the sun up. The Republicans put the oil and coal under Western North Dakota, because they are the ones that have brought prosperity to North Dakota. Take away are Farm subsidies, and only let us get back from the federal government what we send. North Dakota is a total welfare state, but we believe the rooster brings the sun up.

    After eight years of the Bush disaster the rest of the country learned what total Republican domination can do. The country has been plunged into disaster by the Republicans. The delusional population of North Dakota enchanted by Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck never noticed the wreck the Republicans made, now they want to do the same thing for North Dakota on a massive scale. A state that live at the mercy of the Democratic states could hardly do anything worse than adopt a total red neck economic philosophy. Sending a representative to Washington to participate in obstructionism is political suicide. We live in a state of slow learners, the quick ones have left. We must be shown first hand how Republican greed works to destroy the economy and the common man.
  18. Something Smells
    Report Abuse
    Something Smells - January 12, 2010 11:59 am
    I hope Hoeven has been watching Dorgan fade into a very gloomy sunset. As an independent, it will be interesting to see if Hoeven becomes just another politician or has the balls to do what is best for our country.

    He is a better option than Ed Schultz, Heidi or anyone the dems can muster at this point.
  19. Mandan_Girl
    Report Abuse
    Mandan_Girl - January 12, 2010 11:55 am
    I'm a little torn on this one. I'm a republican but I've had some bad experiences with Hoven. I've come across Gov. Hoven at my work and he has been a real jerk at times.
  20. Report Abuse
    - January 12, 2010 11:31 am
    Sometimes, maybe too much of the time, politics is just pathetic. Hoeven suddenly finds the courage to run. He will most certainly win. That will not make him better than he has been---perhaps the most inept governor in modern history. I listened to part of his announcement---I did not hear one thing that he claims he supports that has been accomplished in his term, in fact just the opposite is true. In today's environment, he will fit right in with a large group(mostly republicans) that are providing us with the worst leadership in decades. Maybe we get what we deserve---maybe the economy will force us to regain our sanity and act as citizens. Voting for Hoeven(not withstanding the fact that the dems have no credible candidate) will not be a demonstration of our commitment to improve either North Dakota or our nation.
  21. jasmine
    Report Abuse
    jasmine - January 12, 2010 10:23 am
    Governor Hoeven will be the best that ND can send to Washington even as Dorgan retires. Whether or not you agreed with Dorgan, he did in fact bring a lot of clout not only to ND but to the Middle region of the farm belt.
    I will be voting for Hoeven because I believe the currant Washington statues quo of Democrats as run this Government into the ground.
  22. Rick4404
    Report Abuse
    Rick4404 - January 12, 2010 9:51 am
    I would also have to agree with an analysis about potential Democratic challengers to Governor John Hoeven's candidacy for the U.S. Senate.

    The North Dakota Democratic Party's cupboard is bare. There simply aren't any Democrats with the immense popularity and big time statewide name recognition of Hoeven who could put up a serious challenge to what is shaping up to be a landslide victory for Hoeven.

    The Democrats have almost no one who could beat Hoeven in a head-to-head race. The one person who's name keeps coming up is former attorney general Heidi Heitkamp. I agree she would be a credible contender to Hoeven, but even she doesn't seem very energized about making a run against Hoeven.

    The Democrats will put someone up. They won't let Hoeven run unopposed. We've even been hearing names like Kristin Hedger. Goodness gracious, people, if Hedger's the best that the Democrats can scrape up to run against Hoeven, then that would be just like handing the election to Hoeven.

    Hoeven would mop the floor with Hedger and win by like 75 percent of the vote. She got throttled in 2006 when she ran against Al Jaeger for secretary of state. Hedger would be the proverbial lamb sent to the slaughter by the Democrats once again if she becomes the endorsed candidate and runs against Hoeven for the Senate.

    Meanwhile, as expected, the Democrats are already harping about Governor John Hoeven going back on his word. I don't think Hoeven ever publicly stated anything about not running for another office if the opportunity were to come up while he was serving as governor.

    This is nothing new, people. Sitting governors have run for the U.S. Senate in many other states before. Their states have gotten along just fine.

    For now, John Hoeven is still the governor. He doesn't have to be chained to his desk at the Capitol in order to run the ship. The Legislature is not in session this year, so the governor won't have that stuff to deal with.

    Good luck in the campaign, Governor Hoeven. You have my support and my vote, and I know you will do us proud in the U.S. Senate.
  23. SE Forty
    Report Abuse
    SE Forty - January 12, 2010 8:39 am
    John will be a shoe-in. Now that dorgan is not there. He should be a Gambler, because more things fall into his lap.
  24. Halatbis
    Report Abuse
    Halatbis - January 12, 2010 8:03 am
    Best of luck to you Governor Hoeven in the coming months!
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