VIDEO: Goettle declares as 4th GOP contender in U.S. House race

Shane Goettle

FARGO – After hinting at a possible campaign for weeks, Republican Shane Goettle officially declared his intention Tuesday to seek the GOP endorsement in the 2012 U.S. House race.

Goettle’s move makes him the fourth Republican among a field of five contenders vying for North Dakota’s congressional seat next year.

“We have it pretty good right now in North Dakota … but our country faces just the opposite,” Goettle said this afternoon as he announced his campaign to Fargo supporters. “We’re piling up mountains of debt. It’s really unsustainable.”

Channeling the platform of the man he hopes to replace, Goettle emphasized the need for federal lawmakers to create jobs, balance the budget, cut spending and reduce the debt – without raising taxes.

“Our problem is not that we aren’t taxed enough, rather our economy’s sluggish, anemic and under tremendous recessionary strain,” Goettle said. “In North Dakota, revenues have grown over the last decade without raising taxes. Instead, we focused on efforts to expand North Dakota’s economy and we did a number of things that our nation could do as well.”


Goettle is a former state commerce commissioner and, most recently, was former state director to Sen. John Hoeven.

Goettle will now face off against Public Service Commissioners Brian Kalk and Kevin Cramer and Fargo legislator Bette Grande for the GOP’s endorsement at the state party convention in March.

Whoever wins that battle will likely face Democrat Pam Gulleson on the November ballot. Gulleson, the former state director for retired Sen. Byron Dorgan, is the lone Democratic candidate.

Freshman Republican Rep. Rick Berg is seeking the state’s open Senate seat next fall, which also leaves his seat vacant on the 2012 ballot.

Berg’s successful campaign in 2010 emphasized job creation and fiscal responsibility, a message Goettle heralded Tuesday.

Goettle emphasized his lengthy record of policy work – including his leadership of then-Gov. Hoeven’s EmPower North Dakota initiative that sought to establish a comprehensive energy policy for the state.

He cited that program as one of the various ways he helped promote job and economic growth in North Dakota while he was a state official.

“We made sure our regulatory agencies were helpful and not overly bureaucratic, while doing their job to protect consumers, the health and welfare of our citizens and the environment,” Goettle said. “They did things in cooperation with business and industry – unlike what we see in Washington, which seems to be a spirit of opposition.”

While Hoeven was governor in 2005, he appointed Goettle his commerce commissioner. Goettle served in that role until last fall, when he resigned to follow Hoeven to Washington as part of Hoeven’s senior Senate staff.

Prior to his state office tenure, Goettle worked for four years under the Bush administration in Washington, D.C. He spent nearly two years as counsel for the Federal Housing Finance Agency, before moving to administrative management work within USDA Rural Development.