Dalrymple taps Fedorchak to fill Cramer's seat on PSCBISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A top aide to North Dakota U.S. Sen. John Hoeven is being named to the state Public Service Commission, two state government officials told The Associated Press on Friday.
By: Associated Press , The Jamestown Sun
BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A top aide to North Dakota U.S. Sen. John Hoeven is being named to the state Public Service Commission, two state government officials told The Associated Press on Friday.
Julie Fedorchak will succeed Kevin Cramer on the state regulatory board, the state officials with firsthand knowledge of the appointment said. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized to discuss the matter before Gov. Jack Dalrymple's official announcement, which is expected Friday afternoon.
Both Fedorchak and Cramer are Republicans. Cramer was elected to the U.S. House this month and has said he will resign his seat by year's end.
Fedorchak is the state director of Hoeven's U.S. Senate staff. She worked as a press secretary to former Republican Gov. Ed Schafer and has run her own consulting business.
She did not immediately respond Friday to phone calls, emails and text messages seeking comment. Cramer's term has four years to run, and Fedorchak will have to seek election in 2014 to keep the job.
Fedorchak joined Hoeven's staff as its North Dakota deputy director in January 2011, after the former North Dakota governor was elected to the Senate. She was promoted to director after her predecessor, Shane Goettle, resigned to make an unsuccessful bid for the GOP endorsement to run for the U.S. House.
Republicans attempted to recruit Fedorchak to run for the Public Service Commission this year to succeed Tony Clark, who resigned last summer to accept an appointment to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. She declined, and state Sen. Randy Christmann of Hazen was the GOP's eventual candidate, going on to beat Democrat Brad Crabtree in November.
Fedorchak's family has long been active in Republican politics. Her father, Duane Liffrig, served as North Dakota highway commissioner during the administration of former Republican Gov. Allen Olson in the early 1980s. In 2004, her brother, Mike Liffrig, ran unsuccessfully for the U.S. Senate against Democrat Byron Dorgan.
Cramer praised Fedorchak as “the perfect choice, and she'll dramatically increase the value of the commission by replacing me.”
“One of the greatest assets Julie has ... is that she's full of common sense and applies it very well. But she's also intellectually curious and thoughtful,” Cramer said. “She'll be a very good commissioner.”
The Public Service Commission regulates coal mining, land reclamation, pipelines, electric and gas utilities, grain elevators, telecommunications and auctioneers. The commission has three members who are elected to six-year terms.