Letter to the editor: Story misjudges future of North Dakota politics
Janell Cole's Nov. 10 story, "Future of N.D. Politics: Players mum but speculation exists," was a fanciful piece of reporting.
I don't think if such a race as was suggested happened that North Dakotans would cast one vote that removed a governor they liked and a senator they liked at the same time. Who would think that is in the state's interest?
In order for Janell Cole's scenario to occur, the following would have to happen. First, Gov. John Hoeven, who just ran for a four-year term, would have to decide that he really didn't want to serve that term. Second, Hoeven would have to decide that he preferred being a freshman senator ranking near dead-last in seniority. Third, he would have to feel like he could beat Sen. Byron Dorgan, something no Republican has done for thee decades. And finally, and most important, he would have to convince North Dakotans it would be in their best interest to replace a popular and powerful senator who has a real record of accomplishment.
North Dakota voters have consistently expressed strong support for Dorgan. He has risen to a leadership position in the Senate. He is ranked as one of the "centrists" in the Senate. He has also been ranked as one of the dozen most powerful senators. He is chairman of the committee that funds the water and energy programs that are so important to North Dakota. He has created the Red River Valley Research Corridor that has brought numerous new companies and thousands of new jobs to our state and is transforming our economy. In short, Dorgan is someone who gets results and someone who makes our state proud.
There are so many other reasons that such a race would not be in our state's interest. I think it is unlikely that the governor could succeed in beating Dorgan. But in any event, I think it's far too early to be speculating about these things. We've had enough politics for a while.