Congressman Kevin Cramer did actually have an opponent for the NDGOP endorsement in the U.S. Senate race today. I actually interviewed Thomas O’Neill live from the convention on my radio show yesterday.
But when party Chairman Rick Berg called for additional nominations after Cramer addressed delegates O’Neill didn’t show. This resulted in a motion from the floor to unanimously endorse Cramer, which passed on a voice vote.
I’m not sure what happened to O’Neill. I think he was in the room – Berg seemed to reference him from the podium. The consensus among the delegates is that perhaps O’Neill tried to endorse himself and couldn’t? Or that perhaps he lacked a second for his endorsement?
@RepKevinCramer was expected to face Air Force veteran Thomas O’Neill of Niagara in a fight for the @NDGOP Senate endorsement. But when an opportunity came for nominations, no one approached the convention stage to nominate O'Neill. #ndpol @SamKWEaster https://t.co/CZnPBJk5fs
— April Baumgarten (@aprilbaumsaway) April 7, 2018
Anyway, that’s that. Cramer is now officially the endorsed candidate for the NDGOP, though the matter will be settled officially on the June primary ballot later this year.
Cramer’s speech to delegates was about what you’d expect. He did get in a dig at Democrats who have attacked him for employing family on his campaign, calling his wife Kris Cramer the “lowest paid” campaign manager.
Something which perhaps drew the biggest reaction from delegates was a video presentation from Cramer showing incumbent Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp endorsing Hillary Clinton during the 2016 election cycle.
Here’s the video from C-SPAN:
Remember that Clinton got less than 30 percent of the vote here in North Dakota in 2016, and yet Heitkamp said Clinton would be one of the best presidents ever.
I have a feeling that clip is going to get a lot of play this year, and will be very effective for Cramer.