The Latest: Cramer says oil tycoon would be finance chair
Feb. 14, 2018
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The Latest on Rep. Kevin Cramer reconsidering running for a North Dakota Senate seat (all times local):
Republican Rep. Kevin Cramer says billionaire oilman Harold Hamm has agreed to be his finance chairman if he runs against Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp in November.
Hamm is the chairman of Oklahoma City-based Continental Resources Inc., which is one the oldest and biggest oil drillers in North Dakota. The oil tycoon also endorsed Donald Trump for president and had been under consideration for energy secretary.
Cramer says Hamm served as his finance chairman during his successful House bid in 2012.
The congressman says he's reconsidering a Senate bid in North Dakota because people from his party don't think Heitkamp can be defeated without him.
Cramer says Hamm was among those who have encouraged him to run for the seat.
The head of North Dakota's Republican Party says U.S. Rep. Kevin Cramer is the GOP's "best hope" of defeating Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp in November.
Kelly Armstrong says Cramer is popular in North Dakota and has a proven conservative record. Armstrong says that if Cramer runs, he would have far better name recognition than state Sen. Tom Campbell, who is currently the only Republican challenging Heitkamp.
Cramer says he's reconsidering a Senate bid in North Dakota because people from his party don't think Heitkamp can be defeated without him.
Armstrong says the GOP would still have a shot at defeating Heitkamp if Cramer does not run because she is a Democrat in a heavily Republican state.
Republican Rep. Kevin Cramer says he's reconsidering a Senate bid in North Dakota because people from his party don't think Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp can be defeated without him.
Cramer says he expects to make a decision by the weekend.
Cramer tells The Associated Press Wednesday that he has been contacted by GOP faithful and hundreds of North Dakotans to get into the race.
Cramer announced last month that he would remain in the House. But he says the outpouring of support had "added weight" to his reconsideration.
He says if he does run for Senate it will be based on "patriotism" and the "opportunity for North Dakota to contribute to the national Trump agenda."
Rep. Kevin Cramer says he may get into North Dakota's U.S. Senate race after all.
Cramer was Republicans' preferred candidate against Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp in a race the GOP regarded as one of its best chances to flip a seat nationwide. He announced last month he was skipping the race and would run for another House term instead.
But Cramer has come under intense pressure to reconsider. He told KFGO-AM radio station in Fargo that he's doing so and will have a decision in coming days.
State Sen. Tom Campbell is currently the only Republican challenging Heitkamp. But Campbell trails her significantly in name recognition and financial support.
Former state Republican Party Chairman Gary Emineth dropped out of the race Tuesday because he expects Cramer to get in.