Jim DeMint Could Be Getting Involved In North Dakota’s Senate Primary
Rep. Rick Berg announced weeks ago that he’d be leaving his House seat, which he won from nine-term incumbent Earl Pomeroy, and running to replace the Senate seat to be vacated by the retiring Kent Conrad.
Republican PSC Brian Kalk and former Republican candidate Duane Sand were both in the Senate race, but since Berg’s announcement Kalk has shifted his campaign to focus on Berg’s seat and Sand has hinted at a similar move. This leaves Berg to run unopposed for the NDGOP nomination for the Senate race. Which, given the state of the North Dakota Democrat party, might as well be the election.
But one elected Republican in the state isn’t necessarily willing to just let Berg have the nomination, and that would-be candidate could have some serious backing.
The Club for Growth has already their opposition to Berg’s nomination. I’m told that other groups such as Dick Armey’s Freedom Works are courting this candidate, as are Senators Jim DeMint and Marco Rubio. I’ve spoken to the candidate, and a run is very likely, though I’ve been asked to keep the news to myself for now.
I don’t know if DeMint, Rubio and/or these other groups are talking to any other candidates in the state right now or if any other candidates are even seriously considering a challenge to Berg.
DeMint has a history of backing Republican primary challengers in races around the country, most notably Rubio in Florida and Rand Paul in Kentucky. DeMint has proven that he can influence these primary races with a great deal of success and produce winners.
Berg, on the other hand, hasn’t exactly impressed North Dakota Republicans in the House, though to a certain extent he’s a victim to the national stalemate in Washington DC right now.
There is a lot of dissatisfaction among North Dakota Republicans right now. In fact, I’d say that that it goes beyond mere dissatisfaction to a near schism, but conservatives feel like they don’t have a lot of alternatives to the status quo.
But if a conservative candidate could emerge on Berg’s right flank, backed with the credibility of national figures like DeMint and Rubio, there could be a serious shakeup in the power structure of the state party.Tags: Brian Kalk, duane sand, jim demint, marco rubio, North Dakota News, Rick Berg