Brian Kalk Forms Exploratory Committee For 2012 Run Against Kent Conrad
I posted a couple of days ago that Public Service Commissioner Brian Kalk would be announcing soon his intentions for a possible challenge against Senator Kent Conrad in 2012. Kalk has long been rumored to be considering a run.
This evening Kalk announced a big step toward running: The formation of an exploratory committee.
From an email sent to supporters:
Since the November election, many of you have urged me to consider running for the Republican endorsement for the 2012 U.S. Senate race. This week, we have filed the necessary FEC paperwork to set up the Kalk for Senate Exploratory Committee.
Setting up the committee will allow us to accept donations, if offered, and to assess the level of support among North Dakota Republicans for a possible run.
I spent 20 years serving our country and our state as a United States Marine. I am now serving the citizens of North Dakota as your Public Service Commissioner. My number one priority, during this time, will be to continue to serve North Dakota as your Public Service Commissioner. That will not change.
Over the next few months, Karen, Jordee, and I will carefully and prayerfully, decide if seeking the U.S. Senate seat best serves the interests of our family, North Dakota, and the United States. It is not a decision we will make lightly.
Our nation faces unprecedented challenges as we move into the second decade of the new century. We are all concerned about the direction America is going. I believe we have to change that direction and get our beloved country back on track.
During the coming months, I will be seeking your guidance and support for whatever course we choose. Together, we can help return our beloved America to its rightful path.
As I’ve said before, Kalk is a formidable campaigner and a strong candidate. He’s a former member of the military, well-spoken and has won a statewide campaign before by a wide margin. He may not be the most well-known of 2012 possibles among political circles, but what he lacks in name recognition he’ll make up for in campaign effort.
I’m not sure anyone in the state in as drive a campaigner as Kalk. But there are still a lot voters need to learn about Kalk before he runs. His current electoral position only covers a sliver of the issues he’d address as a Senator, and Kalk has nothing in the way of a voting record that would tell voters where he stands.
If he wants to win what will undoubtedly be a crowded primary race, given Conrad’s vulnerability, Kalk will have to define himself to Republicans.
Update: Here’s the AP story about the announcement, including this from ND Democrat Director Joe Aronson:
Joe Aronson, director of the North Dakota Democratic Party, said Conrad would be a formidable candidate if he chooses to run for re-election. “It’s a little earlier than we’re used to in North Dakota,” Aronson said of Kalk’s possible candidacy.
“I would hope his work on the commission wouldn’t suffer as a result,” Aronson said. “Running for the Senate isn’t an easy task by any stretch of the imagination.”
Odd comments given that a) Kent Conrad himself is already airing campaign commercials and b) Aronson doesn’t seem concerned about Conrad’s re-election campaign distracting from his duties in the Senate.Tags: Brian Kalk, election 2012, Kent Conrad, North Dakota News