Preview: North Dakota’s contested GOP primary in U.S. Senate race

FARGO – Republican voters will decide June 12 whether the perennial underdog or the freshman establishment candidate will represent them in the contest this fall for North Dakota’s open U.S. Senate seat.

Rep. Rick Berg and Bismarck businessman Duane Sand are seeking voters’ backing in the June primary next week.

Berg was endorsed by the North Dakota Republican Party this spring. Berg is in his first term as North Dakota’s lone congressman. He was first elected in 2010 after knocking off longtime incumbent Democrat Earl Pomeroy.

Sand did not seek the Republican Party’s endorsement, instead wanting to face Berg in a primary contest. This is Sand’s fourth bid for a congressional seat. He ran unsuccessful campaigns for the Senate in 2000 and for the House in 2004 and 2008.

Whoever wins the GOP primary will face Democrat Heidi Heitkamp in the November general election. Heitkamp is running uncontested in the primary.

U.S. Senate members serve six-year terms and receive an annual salary of $174,000.

North Dakota’s seat is open this year since Democratic Sen. Kent Conrad is retiring after 25 years in office.

For more on North Dakota’s U.S. Senate candidates,
check out The Forum’s online Voters Guide.