Congressman Cramer Reconsidering Run for U.S. Senate Race

U.S. Rep. Kevin Cramer speaks at a policy summit hosted by the Americans for Prosperity-North Dakota on Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2017, at the Avalon Events Center in Fargo. David Samson / The Forum

Roughly a month ago Congressman Kevin Cramer announced that he would not be running for the U.S. Senate.

Today I can report that Cramer’s decision may not be quite as solid as previously advertised. Multiple sources have confirmed to me that the Congressman is under serious pressure to change his mind.

“I really don’t want to confirm or deny it at this point,” he told me.

I reached Cramer this evening. “I really don’t want to confirm or deny it at this point,” he told me.

He laughed when I pointed out that his statement is sort of a confirmation of indecision, and he admitted that he was “very mildly” reconsidering the issue “just at the encouragement of some people.”

“We’re home now,” Cramer, who is in Bismarck tonight attending a NDGOP event, told me adding that he and his wife Kris are going to “sit down and re-evaluate everything.”

“I’m not sure much has changed,” he said.

“I’m just not going to say,” Cramer told me when I pressed him on who was urging him to reconsider the race, confirming only that it’s coming from “multiple sources.”

It’s worth mentioning that Cramer had previously confirmed that President Donald Trump was urging him to launch a Senate campaign.

Currently two other Republicans – state Senator Tom Campbell and former NDGOP chair Gary Emineth – are in the race. Campbell, though, has put up some deeply uninspiring fundraising numbers despite having been on the campaign trail for more than six months. Emineth, meanwhile, has been busy trying to fend off criticism of some of his inflammatory social media posts.

A political operative I spoke to about Cramer reconsidering called this a potential “earthquake” in the race. Certainly many political prognosticators saw Heitkamp’s re-election as more likely once Cramer declined to run. If he’s back in the mix, expect those predictions to go back the other way.

Rob Port is the editor of SayAnythingBlog.com, a columnist for the Forum News Service, and the host of the Rob (Re)Port on Fargo-based WDAY AM970 from noon-2pm weekdays.

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