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Published April 16 2010

Hoeven raises $1.3 million for U.S. Senate bid

GOP Senate candidate and North Dakota Gov. John Hoeven has raised about 74 times more in campaign contributions than his Democratic competitor, according to first-quarter financial reports.

Hoeven raised more than $1.3 million during the first three months of 2010 toward his U.S. Senate bid.

In comparison, Democratic-NPL Senate candidate Tracy Potter said he raised about $18,600 during the same period.

Hoeven’s quarterly report to the Federal Election Commission shows his campaign netted $1,388,538 in contributions by March 31.

That figure does not include a $100,000 loan from Hoeven. Hoeven also paid about $18,400 toward his campaign’s operating expenses.

After the first quarter, Hoeven reported more than $1.2 million in cash on hand to use in the race for the Senate seat being vacated by retiring Democrat Byron Dorgan.

“The outpouring of support shows that people are responding to our message, and we are encouraged by their enthusiasm and willingness to come out and get involved,” Hoeven said in a campaign statement.

Potter said he has about $16,895 in cash on hand, after subtracting expenses from the $18,625 in contributions raised.

Potter did not loan money to his campaign, and neither Hoeven nor Potter reported campaign debt.

Potter acknowledged once more his uphill battle against Hoeven. But the Bismarck state senator voiced optimism for the next phase of the campaign, setting a goal to raise $100,000 by Memorial Day.

“We need to get serious now about raising money,” Potter wrote in an e-mail. “We have a good strategy in place to do that.”

“In the end, we expect to be vastly outspent in the race,” Potter added. “Fortunately, votes in North Dakota are not for sale to the highest bidder.”

It’s possible Potter could receive support through Dorgan’s $4.2 million war chest.

Dorgan said Thursday he’s in the process of dispersing the funds. He is barred from keeping or spending the money for personal use, but otherwise has wide latitude as to who he can donate the money to.

Following federal regulations, Dorgan said he is refunding contributions given for the general election, which have amounted to more than $1 million.

He also said he’s given $260,000 to the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, which provides additional money and resources to party candidates nationwide such as Potter.

“(I) will continue to do that in support of and to try to help other candidates who are running in the country, whose values I think will best serve this country,” Dorgan said.


Readers can reach Forum reporter Kristen Daum at (701) 241-5541