Tuesday's statewide primary includes two Republican races that will select candidates to face off against Democrat opponents in the November general election.
Rick Berg vs. Duane Sand
Berg and Sand are squaring off to decide who will face Democrat Heidi Heitkamp in November, with the winner filling the Senate seat left by a retiring Sen.?Kent Conrad.
Berg was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 2010 after a lengthy career in the N.D. House which included stints as House Majority Leader and Speaker. He announced his Senate candidacy less than a year after taking office in the House.
Sand is president of a development company and chairman of a nonprofit group that works with veteran memorials. Sand is a graduate of the U.S.?Naval Academy and was an officer during the Iraq war. He lost races for the U.S. House in 2004 and 2008 and a race for the U.S. Senate in 2000.
Berg's significant legislative experience in North Dakota and his short time in Washington D.C. give him a decided advantage over Sand. Berg has worked hard, along with the other members the North Dakota congressional delegation, to save rural postal service and at least delay the closings of postal sorting centers, including the center in Minot. We're not keen on Berg's decision to jump from the House to the Senate after one term, but he's still the better choice for Republicans.
Brian Kalk vs. Kevin Cramer
Both men are current members of the state Public Service Commission, although their paths to the ballot couldn't be more different. Kalk was chosen during the party's convention, while Cramer skipped the convention to go straight to the June ballot. The winner will face Democrat Pam Gulleson in November.
Cramer is no stranger to North Dakota politics, while Kalk is a relative newcomer. Kalk, a Bottineau native, has proven himself to be a strong member of the PSC, and has shown the ability to relate to voters on a personal level. The Minot Daily News endorses Brian Kalk as the Republican nominee for U.S. House.