Rick Becker announces run for U.S. Senate

Published: Aug. 15, 2022 at 10:09 AM CDT
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BISMARCK, N.D. (KFYR) - The November election just got a whole lot more interesting.

Dr. Rick Becker is a plastic surgeon and businessman who represents Bismarck in the State Legislature. In April, he challenged Senator John Hoeven at the North Dakota GOP convention for his United States Senate seat. Hoeven narrowly won, but Monday, Representative Becker announced plans to challenge Hoeven once again in the general election.

After he lost the Republican party endorsement by about 200 votes, Rick Becker said we wouldn’t see him again this election cycle, or did he?

”The pledge I made is, if I didn’t get the endorsement at the convention, I wouldn’t run in the primary, so I honored that pledge,” said Becker.

So, why the change of heart? Representative Becker says he didn’t intend to run until a few weeks ago, when he says excessive government spending got to him.

”Most Americans believe America is headed in the wrong direction. It’s headed in the wrong direction because of politicians like John Hoeven who have been there for the past 10, 11 years. And they keep doing things the same way. Pats on the back, spending here, special interests there. It’s gotta end,” said Becker.

Six years ago, Hoeven received 78.5% of the votes in the 2016 general election, the widest margin of victory by any Senate candidate in the country. Representatives from Hoeven’s campaign say that’s because “he has a strong record of cutting taxes, pushing back on federal overreach, working to secure our southern border, supporting our second amendment rights, as well as unwavering support for our military,” said Jessica Lee, campaign spokeswoman for Hoeven.

As for Democratic challenger Katrina Christiansen, she said: ”I think it exposes how weak John Hoeven is. We know where Rick Becker stands when it comes to positions. He’s very out in the open. Whereas Hoeven is much more of a weather vane and waiting for the winds to kind of tell him where to land.”

Per the NDGOP’s nominating rules, any person who runs as an independent for statewide office in the previous six years shall be prohibited from seeking the endorsement of the NDGOP’s state convention. That means this run would disqualify Becker from seeking another nomination from the Republican Party in North Dakota until at least 2030.

Representative Becker needs to gather and submit at least 1,000 valid signatures to the Secretary of State by September 6th to be included on the November ballot. By comparison, he received 1,037 votes at the NDGOP convention in April.

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