N.D. tax commissioner opts against congressional bid in 2012

Cory Fong

FARGO – Cross another name off the prospective candidates’ list for the 2012 federal races.

North Dakota Tax Commissioner Cory Fong told me this morning that he won’t seek the GOP endorsement in the U.S. House race next year.

“I enjoy my job as tax commissioner and I have a lot of priorities and initiatives that I still want to see through to the end,” Fong told me in an e-mail. “Instead, I will be devoting my time next year to helping my Republican friends win their races for governor, U.S. Senate, Congress, insurance commissioner, treasurer, and auditor.”

“And, I am convinced, it will be a great year for us!” Fong added.

Fong was re-elected last fall to another four-year term as state tax commissioner, but he had been among a lengthy list of Republicans who’d expressed interest in the 2012 congressional election.

So far, Fargo legislator Bette Grande and Public Service Commissioner Brian Kalk are definitely competing for the GOP nomination next spring, and several other hopefuls remain undecided. It’s unclear whether any more candidates will join the fray.

Former Rutland legislator Pam Gulleson is the lone candidate for the Democratic-NPL Party, and it seems unlikely – though, of course, not impossible – that she’ll face competition for her party’s endorsement.