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Published May 24 2010

Sand keeping options open

A former potential candidate in North Dakota’s 2010 U.S. Senate race says he’s keeping his options open for the future.

Duane Sand formed a campaign committee in April 2009 in pursuit of a possible Senate run this year but decided in late 2009 against seeking the GOP nomination.

Sand, who’s no stranger to federal campaigns, said recently he remains “undecided” about future bids for public office.

Sand’s Senate campaign committee remains active, as evidenced by his April 15 filing with the Federal Election Commission.

In the first quarter of 2010, Sand’s campaign raised about $35,100 in contributions. He spent about the same amount, $35,200, most of which was paid out in operating expenses and direct-mail fundraising efforts, according to the FEC report.

Overall, Sand had about $711 in cash on hand after the first three months of 2010 and had about $36,425 remaining in debt.

The Bismarck resident previously ran unsuccessfully against Democratic Sen. Kent Conrad in 2000 and Democratic Rep. Earl Pomeroy in 2004 and 2008.

Sand said he’s now focused on priorities with the North Dakota Taxpayers’ Association, where he serves as chairman.

“I’m going to be very active this session, so that’s going to take a lot of my time in the interim – between now and whenever I might decide something in the future,” Sand said.

He said he opted to keep his most recent Senate campaign committee active until he decides what his political future might be.

“Politics for federal office dictates keeping in touch with a donor base,” Sand said. “Mine happens to be almost 13,000 in every single state in America, so I certainly want to stay in touch with them.”

The $36,400 in campaign debt “isn’t a great challenge,” he said.

“I’m filing the forms because the FEC requires me to, and I try to manage it in a way that allows me the flexibility to decide whether to get in or stay out,” he said.

But in the short term, political campaigns aren’t on Sand’s radar, he said.

“The North Dakota Taxpayers’ Association has two main goals – inform and educate the public about local, state and federal government and making sure government is transparent, and those are two areas that I’m focusing on for at least the next six months,” Sand said.

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