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Published September 23, 2010, 05:17 PM

Hoeven, Potter Square Off in Debate

North Dakota's two U.S. Senate candidates debated health care, tax cuts and the Obama stimulus plan, but it was the state's oil boom that took them into overtime.

FARGO, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota's two U.S. Senate candidates debated health care, tax cuts and the Obama stimulus plan, but it was the state's oil boom that took them into overtime.

The hour-long debate between Republican Gov. John Hoeven and Democratic state Sen. Tracy Potter was held Thursday in Fargo.

During a question about weaning the country off foreign oil, Potter criticized Hoeven for poorly managing the rapid growth in North Dakota's oil patch. Potter said many people can't afford housing because oil companies have raised costs.

Hoeven asked — and received — extra time to answer the question. He said it was ironic that at a time of a national recession, Potter wants to go to Washington because "he knows how to slow things down."

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