Berg is the Republicans’ endorsed candidate in the U.S. Senate race. Sand is challenging him in the primary for full rights to the party’s nomination.
Berg said Monday he’s focusing his campaign efforts beyond the June election, repeating statements he made four weeks ago when he was first asked about debating Sand.
“Our focus is really on the general election. I mean, our focus is really on Obama and what’s going on there,” Berg said, adding: “We have to spend every minute we can getting that message out to the North Dakota people.”
Berg said the NDGOP’s state convention process served as a chance for Republicans to vet the candidates, adding that he “can’t answer” whether a pre-primary debate would be useful to primary voters.
“I feel we spent three months crisscrossing the state, going to a lot of district conventions,” Berg said. “We were in the same place, and we had the opportunity to answer and ask questions throughout that process. Duane chose not to come to the state convention. … He made the decision not to come.”
Sand has told The Forum’s editorial board twice that he wants to debate Berg before the primary. Sand said previously that district conventions “are clearly not a debate, nor are they meant to be.”