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Associated Press, Published February 02 2010

Cramer, Hoeven mull use of state campaign money

BISMARCK — North Dakota Gov. John Hoeven and Public Service Commissioner Kevin Cramer have to decide what to do with their state campaign funds, since they don't intend to run for re-election.

State disclosure filings show Hoeven has more than $87,000 in his political fund, and Cramer has $9,316. Secretary of State Al Jaeger says Cramer and Hoeven can "do whatever they want" with the money.

Hoeven is seeking the Republican endorsement to run for the U.S. Senate, and Cramer is a GOP candidate for the U.S. House.

Hoeven's campaign manager says the governor will give the money to the state Republican Party or Republican candidates. Cramer says he hasn't decided yet what to do with his money.

Tax Commissioner Cory Fong, Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem and Secretary of State Al Jaeger are seeking re-election in 2010, while Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring is running for his first four-year term. Hoeven appointed Goehring to his job in April 2009.

Here is a summary of the 2009 campaign contributions to North Dakota state officeholders who are seeking election this year.

Gov. John Hoeven (R): $123,990 in contributions, $87,212 cash on hand. Largest donor: Jack Hoeven, Minot, $5,000. Jack Hoeven is the governor's father.

Tax Commissioner Cory Fong (R): $57,443 in contributions, $57,633 cash on hand. Largest donors: Waldo Ackerman, Houston, Texas, and Don Kessel, Houston, Texas, $5,000 each. Ackerman and Kessel are president and vice president of Murex Petroleum Corp., Houston.

Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem (R): $19,989 in contributions, $31,650 cash on hand. Largest donor: Burlington Northern Santa Fe Rail PAC, $4,000.

Public Service Commissioner Kevin Cramer (R): $15,415 in contributions, $9,316 cash on hand. Largest donors: Corbin J. Robertson Jr., a Houston energy executive and investor, and his wife, Barbara, $2,500 each.

Secretary of State Al Jaeger (R): $3,800 in contributions, $1,510 cash on hand. Largest donor: North Dakota Association of Realtors PAC, $2,500.

Agriculture Commissioner Doug Goehring (R): $875 in contributions, $875 cash on hand. Largest donor: North Dakota Oil PAC, $350.

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