North Dakota Republicans launch 2012 “road to victory” series

FARGO – It’s still 14 months until Election Day 2012 – but the North Dakota Republican Party is diving in to the campaign season with an early push to garner support for the party platform.

NDGOP leaders say they’re reviving a tradition of the successful 2010 campaign, when party leaders held regular lunches to attract voters and connect supporters with candidates.

The party will kick off its “Road to Victory” lunch series Sept. 13 with special guest speaker Lt. Gov. Drew Wrigley. (Wrigley has made no secret he’d like to seek a higher office someday but hasn’t yet announced his plans for 2012.)

NDGOP Chairman Stan Stein said in a statement he hopes the lunch series “will be a source of dialogue about the opportunities and challenges that lie ahead both in state and national politics.”

“These upcoming lunches will be a chance for our activists from Bismarck and beyond to interact and share ideas on how we can better our own state, and bring more efficient government to Washington that will provide meaningful and lasting solutions,” Stein said.

The first lunch will be held at noon at the Bismarck Radisson. It costs $10 at the door. RSVP‘s are preferred, but not required.

So far, when it comes to the 2012 elections, North Dakota Republicans have been exceptionally more vocal than their Democratic counterparts.

The party already has several candidates declared for both the federal races and many prospects for the state races that will be on the ballot.

Rep. Rick Berg announced in May he’d seek the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by Democrat Kent Conrad, and perennial candidate Duane Sand is challenging Berg for the GOP nomination in that race.

Meanwhile, Public Service Commissioner Brian Kalk is in the running to replace Berg, and several other Republican officials have voiced interest in running, too.

But when it comes to the Democratic side of the aisle, no one from the Democratic-NPL Party has yet stepped forward for either federal race.

It’s a wait-and-see game, though.

More candidate announcements are anticipated this fall as the campaign season revs up, buffeted by the presidential campaigns that are already in full swing.