Sen. John Hoeven earns the NDGOP nomination

Published: Apr. 2, 2022 at 5:15 PM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - There are three big takeaways from the North Dakota GOP convention that took place in Bismarck Saturday: the first is that there were 2,321 delegates in attendance, which is the largest GOP convention in state history. The second is that there was a procedural challenge that held things up throughout the day to see who would chair the convention. The final thing is that this all revolves around the race for the party’s endorsement for the U.S. Senate, and of course, that was between incumbent U.S. Senator John Hoeven and State Representative Rick Becker.

A record number of delegates poured into the Event Center Saturday to endorse their candidates, but party infighting posed a hurdle.

”Please, let’s not let this devolve into a family dispute, when we have a common opponent who couldn’t get enough people to the convention to fill up one small section,” said Sen. Kevin Cramer.

After an hour-long challenge and vote over who would chair the convention, which would usually take only a few minutes, delegates voted to endorse Senator John Hoeven for another U.S. Senate term. But only after a speech concerned with social issues from state Representative Rick Becker.

”The next time the government is taking our liberties, you will see and hear me fighting for you. The next time bureaucrats want to take away our freedom, you will see and hear me fighting for you,” said Becker.

Becker received 1,037 votes, more than might normally be needed to win, but Hoeven earned 1,224.

”Let’s come together now. Let’s come together, let’s be strong, let’s be a force to change this country, we can do it,” said Hoeven.

Representative Becker won’t challenge Hoeven in the primary, but he says he has plans beyond 2022.

”People sometimes are under the perception that it’s a single movement and it’s unified, and it’s not. It’s small groups of people throughout the state, and they all have the same feeling, which is, ‘Enough is enough,’” said Becker.

After a historic convention, there are two things that we know to be true. The first is that Senator John Hoeven will be the party’s candidate in June. And the second is that the rifts we have seen in the state Republican party aren’t going anywhere.

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