Campaign manager for GOP House candidate resignsBISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The campaign manager for Republican U.S. House candidate Rick Berg resigned Monday after saying he wasn't ``completely up front' about the origin of an e-mail list he used to promote Berg's campaign.
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The campaign manager for Republican U.S. House candidate Rick Berg resigned Monday after saying he wasn't ``completely up front' about the origin of an e-mail list he used to promote Berg's campaign.
``It was certainly a lapse on my behalf,' Paul Sorenson said. ``But I don't think it changes the race or gives anyone an advantage.'
Berg is one of four men competing for the endorsement of state Republican Party convention delegates to run against Democrat Earl Pomeroy, who is seeking his 10th House term. Delegates will choose their candidate Saturday during the party's convention in Grand Forks.
The state Republican chairman, Gary Emineth, said Berg's campaign recently used a GOP e-mail list of more than 15,000 names to send out a mailing promoting the Fargo state lawmaker's candidacy.
Emineth said the list was improperly obtained, and shouldn't have been used by a candidate who had not yet been endorsed by the party.
Sorenson was the North Dakota GOP's director from January until mid-November of last year. Berg entered the House race Jan. 19 and hired Sorenson as his campaign manager.
``One of the groups I had put on the list and hadn't told Rick about were contacts I had retained from my work' as executive director, Sorenson said.
He denied having a complete copy of the party's e-mail list. But Emineth said among the recipients of the Berg campaign's e-mail were people whose names he personally added to the list to detect misuse.
Berg said he asked Sorenson to quit after hearing his account Monday, and Sorenson agreed. Another Berg campaign aide, Tom Nelson, will succeed Sorenson.
``When this campaign started, we wanted to have a positive, honest campaign,' Berg said. ``It was a decision which was consistent with the way that we want to run our campaign.'
Berg, Public Service Commissioner Kevin Cramer, Kenmare businessman J.D. Donaghe and DuWayne Hendrickson of Minot are seeking the Republican House endorsement. Berg and Cramer, who ran twice for the U.S. House in the 1990s, are the front-runners.
Cramer and Emineth said Sorenson's resignation would allow Berg to put the dispute behind him.
Berg ``has taken the right kind of steps to ensure that he's suitable for Congress,' Cramer said. ``I'm proud of him for doing what he did.'
Berg, 50, a Fargo property development executive, is a longtime state House member and former GOP House majority leader. Nelson, his new campaign manager, worked for Berg during his time as House Republican leader.