State Rep. Bette Grande has been rumored to be in the US House race for Republicans for a while now (I wrote about her registering campaign sites previously) but now it looks as though an official announcement is imminent.
I’m told by sources in Williston that Grande has scheduled a press conference in that town (her hometown, she currently represents the Fargo area in the legislature) for Tuesday next week. Right now both BetteGrande.com and BetteGrandeForHouse.com are blank, though both domains are registered to Grande and have recently had their registrations updated.
Democrat and former state legislator Pam Gulleson has also announced her campaign for the US House, and followed the same formula announcing it from her hometown.
Right now Public Service Commissioner Brian Kalk is the only Republican officially in the race, but state legislator Kim Koppelman has said that he’s still considering a run as has state Treasurer Kelly Schmidt, so ultimately it may not just be Grande and Kalk vying for the nomination.
Which speaks volumes about the political climate in North Dakota right now. Gulleson is likely to be the anointed nominee for the Democrats, facing no competition at the stat convention, because Democrats have a real shortage of qualified candidates. Whereas Republicans, it seems, will have nomination races for the US Senate (Duane Sand vs. Rick Berg), the US House and the state governor (Paul Sorum vs. Jack Dalrymple, though the latter hasn’t officially announced a campaign for a term of his own).
That competition among Republicans is going to make for stronger candidates.