Berg concedesFARGO – U.S. Rep. Rick Berg conceded North Dakota’s tightly contested U.S. Senate bid before a crowd of emotional supporters at Fargo’s Holiday Inn this afternoon.
By: Marino Eccher, Forum Communications, The Jamestown Sun
FARGO – U.S. Rep. Rick Berg conceded North Dakota’s tightly contested U.S. Senate bid before a crowd of emotional supporters at Fargo’s Holiday Inn this afternoon.
Speaking before the monthly luncheon gathering of the United Republican Committee of Cass County, Berg said the margin of about 3,000 votes between him and Democrat Heidi Heitkamp – which amounts to less than 1 percent, close enough that he could have demanded a recount – was likely to hold up.
“There’s not much that’s going to change in that outcome,” he said.
He later told reporters he called Heitkamp this morning to congratulate her.
The concession was a reversal from the campaign’s statement early Wednesday morning, in which spokesman Chris Van Guilder said the campaign would wait until the results were made official before making any statements.
The canvassing process won’t be completed until next week.
Berg said he decided to sleep on the results to make sure everything had been entered properly in the late hours after the polls closed and evaluate the situation in the morning.
He said he saw little evidence of irregularities that would change the outcome, and that state election workers generally are very accurate.
In his remarks to supporters that struck a heartfelt tone, Berg thanked the crowd for their effort during the campaign.
He said he expected a different result, but has no regrets.
“I am so proud to have been your candidate,” he said. “I don’t want anyone to feel sorry for me.”
He told reporters he’s not sure what he will do next or if he will pursue office again.
In a statement, Heitkamp thanked Berg for his service in Congress and for his role in the campaign.
She said she will represent all North Dakotans, not just Democrats.
“Today is a time to thank the countless North Dakotans on both sides of the aisles who spent months volunteering and working in this campaign because they believed in our state, and believed in our democracy,” she said in the statement.