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Published October 04, 2010, 06:29 PM

Hoeven, Potter Visit Grand Forks

Health care, energy policy were among the topics the candidates addressed as they visited the Grand Forks Senior Center Monday.

Will the new health care reform law help North Dakotans? That was one of the issues talked about during campaign stops by the two candidates for the U.S. Senate seat in North Dakota.

Monday's appearances were not a debate, but candidates Republican John Hoeven and Democrat Tracy Potter talked about some of the things they don't see eye to eye on, including health care reform.

"This health care bill raises taxes by half a trillion dollars. It cuts Medicare by 500 billion dollars," Hoeven said.

Democrat Tracy Potter says he supports the law even though he doesn't like all aspects of it.

"Just on September 23rd it became illegal to deny a child coverage up to age 19 for having preexisting conditions. This is big. It also meant that our kids could stay on their parent's policy longer, up to age 26. There were a number of things that were positive steps," Potter said.

Another hot topic between both candidates was energy policy, both at the national and state level. Hoeven says the nation needs to expand all sources of energy, just like North Dakota is doing.

"Not only to produce more energy, make our country competitive on a global high-tech economy, but look at the opportunities," Hoeven, said.

However, Potter says Hoeven needs to slow down in oil production in the state and make sure there are enough good roads, water, and housing. He says otherwise there will be problems in the future.

"Governor, you need to be conscious of these things, and not come in after the fact and say, 'OK, let's produce some housing.' You remember the last time Williston did this with the housing they produced. They produced a bunch of housing for the boom in the '80's, and then it went bust," Potter said.

Another major point Tracy Potter tried to get across was if you like John Hoeven as Governor, why switch? He still has two years left on his term.

However, Hoeven says he would like to bring his ideas for job creation that he's used in North Dakota to the U.S. Senate, so everyone in the country can benefit.

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