FARGO – Republican Senate candidate Gov. John Hoeven and his wife, Mikey, said this week there’s “absolutely no truth” to rumors that they’ve been looking for a house in Washington, D.C. since last spring.
Potter’s campaign field director Anne Krapu rationalized the pre-emptive planning by saying, “Since John Hoeven was already scoping out real estate in Washington, D.C. last spring – months before any voter could actually decide to send him there – we think it’s reasonable to invite people to join the Potter campaign for a victory party before the debate takes place.”
Some national political observers have called Hoeven a “shoo-in” to replace retiring Democratic Sen. Byron Dorgan, due to Hoeven’s name recognition in North Dakota and his popularity during 10 years as the state’s governor. (During Thursday’s debate, Potter took a shot at Hoeven over the issue, saying Hoeven’s approach to the race was more a coronation than a campaign.)
Potter had stopped by The Forum early Thursday to meet with the newspaper’s editorial board, so I took the opportunity to ask him if his campaign’s claim was just another political jab or if there was any validity to it. Potter told us, a friend of his had overheard Mikey Hoeven in April talking with friends about how she was excited to go to Washington and she’d acknowledged they were looking for a place to live.
So after Thursday’s debate, I approached John and Mikey Hoeven separately to clear up the truth behind this rumor and asked them both straight out: Have either of you been looking for a house, or have you asked someone to look for you?
“No, for heaven’s sakes! You know I never take anything for granted,” John Hoeven said to me. “This is totally up to the people of North Dakota – We’ll absolutely respect whatever decision they make, and we’re going to work hard until November 2nd. We’ll do our best and we’ll hope for the best, but we’ve got a long way to go and a lot to do.”
A couple minutes later and about 15 feet away, I caught up with Mikey Hoeven one-on-one.
“That is untrue. Absolutely no truth to it. None,” she said, telling me she was shocked when she first heard the rumor the day before. “I don’t know where that’s coming from, but that’s absolutely not true.”
“We would never, ever consider doing that,” she continued. “I’m sorry to hear that someone started that rumor, because it is just a rumor. … It’s just so far beyond the way John and I approach things. We don’t take anything for granted; we never have. We are working so hard just to get elected. If and when John gets elected, then that comes, but not before that
– at all.”