Change is needed in Washington, Rep. Rick Berg told a cheering, sign-waving crowd of nearly 2,000 during his acceptance speech for the Republican Party’s endorsement for U.S. Senate.

“We should show Washington how we do it in North Dakota,” Berg told the Republican Party convention on Saturday. “I’m running to stop the over-regulating of our economy and start growing it.”

Berg said the necessary changes in Washington to get the country back on track can be made by flipping the Senate from Democratic control to Republican. Taking aim at national health care legislation and the federal budget deficit, Berg blasted Democratic leaders and said the country needs to alter its course.

“America is headed down the wrong track in a hurry,” Berg said.

Referencing the “North Dakota way,” Berg said the state’s approach to balancing its budget and promoting businesses should be enacted in Washington.

“We (North Dakotans) don’t look for bailouts, we look for a job. We’d rather have another opportunity than another regulation,” Berg said amid cheers.

Berg said the nation would benefit by following North Dakota’s example by developing a comprehensive energy policy as well as stripping away government regulations to create more efficiency for businesses to conduct their work and grow.

“With your support we can take the North Dakota way to Washington and get our country back on track,” Berg said.

Berg added that he worries about the America that may be left for his, and everyone else’s children, if the federal deficit isn’t reined in.

“We are trillions of dollars in debt,” Berg said.

He said the nation’s debt averages out to approximately $49,000 per child. He said he’s concerned about members of the next generation’s ability to get an education and have the ability to start a business if the nation is saddled with the debt it is accumulating.

“I’m running to stop Washington from destroying our economy,” Berg said.

Berg unanimously received the nomination for U.S. Senate.

“I want to thank you for an amazing journey that’s just beginning,” Berg said.

Berg earned the nomination uncontested. Fellow Republican Duane Sand, who had been running against Berg for the nomination, announced on Monday that he was bypassing the convention and going straight to the June 12 primary. Sand is the second Republican candidate to bypass the convention. U.S. House candidate Kevin Cramer announced in January that he was bypassing the convention.

Reach Nick Smith at 250-8255 or 223-8482 or at nick.smith@bismarcktribune.com.