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Published May 18, 2011, 07:53 PM

Rep. Berg in Grand Forks on Senate Announcement Tour

Berg: Senate currently is barrier to change
While only a representative for five months, republican Rick Berg has decided to run for Senate. He met with local Republicans in Grand Forks Wednesday, telling them about what he would do if elected.

By: David Schwab, WDAZ

North Dakota congressman Rick Berg has only been in office for five months, but he's already back in full campaign mode.

That's because he decided not to seek a second term in the House next year, but to run for the U.S. Senate instead.

Rick Berg met with local Republicans in Grand Forks Wednesday, telling them about what he would do if elected to the Senate.

"The barrier is the Senate and so if we want to get this country back to work, control the spending and control government, that needs to be done in the Senate," Berg said.

Berg has only been a congressman for five months, but he announced this week he will run for the U.S senate.

He says it wasn't a tough decision.

"Number one, there was just grassroot support across North Dakota, both from elected officials and ordinary citizens," Berg said.

UND political science professor Robert Wood says it's likely he was recruited by other lawmakers to run.

"'This individual is one of the best candidates that we have and therefore we want him in the highest and most influential level of public office that we can possibly have him in,' and so you can certainly make that argument," Wood said.

Wood says the benefits of making an early announcement include raising more campaign funds and pushing away republican primary hopefuls. But, Wood adds, there are negatives.

"The drawbacks are now they've sort of alerted the democrats to a potential victory in both of these (Senate and House) offices. Maybe now (democrats) will produce bigger candidates or prepare a bigger challenge for both of those offices,"

Wood says the most unusual thing that has happened in North Dakota politics isn't Berg's decision to run for Senate, but the fact that the entire delegation has changed political affiliation in just two years.

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