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Tim Mahoney, Published October 03 2010

Strong character, good record earn Rep. Pomeroy re-election

I’ll agree with one thing in Steve Scheel’s recent letter to the editor: It is important that we look at the candidates’ records when we choose who will fill North Dakota’s only seat in the House of Represent-atives.

By that measure, Rep. Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D., has earned re-election hands down. When faced with difficult decisions, he always lines up with what is best for the North Dakota people.

Over the past two years, our country has dealt with some very difficult issues. We were on the verge of another great depression, business had stalled, and the market was headed the wrong way. He wrestled with huge issues that took tough decisions but helped turn around our nation’s economy, and he worked with the good of North Dakota in the front of his mind.

I know this because I have watched how hard he scraps to make sure North Dakota is treated fairly. The Frontier Amendment in the health care reform bill finally puts us on equal reimbursement ground with states like New York so our rural hospitals can compete in a difficult market. It was worth $660 million to the state.

Here in Fargo, we’ve dealt with two near-record floods the past two years. Pomeroy’s been there with us the whole time. He was out throwing sandbags – not as a publicity stunt but because he cared about pitching in, just like any good neighbor would. When it came time to help us get permanent flood control, Pomeroy has been there. He helped us make our pitch to the Army Corps of Engineers and other federal decision-makers. He has taken part in our working group meetings and helped us formulate a strategy. Just a couple of weeks ago, he brought the chairman of a key congressional committee, Rep. James Oberstar, D-Minn., to explain his commitment to our project and how we could weather a delay.

These are just a few examples of his commitment and genuine caring. You’ll find few North Dakotans who can’t recount a way that Pomeroy has helped them – whether it’s a veteran who needed someone to cut through the red tape holding up benefits, a senior depending on Social Security checks to make ends meet, or a family farmer who is grateful for the strong farm bill Pomeroy helped write.

So yes, I agree that a strong record of serving North Dakota is important. So is strong character. Pomeroy has both in spades.

Mahoney is a surgeon and Fargo city commissioner. He currently is serving

as deputy mayor.