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Sherri Richards, Published October 03 2010

Walaker endorses Pomeroy for House

A new TV ad features Fargo Mayor Dennis Walaker endorsing Democratic incumbent Earl Pomeroy over Fargo Republican challenger Rick Berg in the tight race for North Dakota’s lone U.S. House seat.

The ad features Walaker in a white button-down shirt and dark blazer interspersed with scenes of spring flooding and flood-fight efforts.

“It’s good for the people of Fargo to understand they have somebody on their side,” Walaker says in the ad. “I personally endorse Earl Pomeroy to continue his work in Congress because we need him there.”

Pomeroy’s campaign touts his willingness to sandbag as well as his advocacy in Congress for permanent flood control for Fargo-Moorhead.

“The case Earl’s making here is he’s the guy in this race that works for North Dakota and has the ability to get things done,” Brenden Timpe, Pomeroy campaign spokesman, said Saturday. “One of the biggest issues along these lines is getting permanent flood control for Fargo.”

Tom Nelson, spokesman for Berg’s campaign, would not speculate on the effect Walaker’s endorsement would have on the race. He noted Berg has received the endorsement of former Fargo Mayor Bruce Furness and the support of nearly 3,000 in-state donors.

“Rick, his wife, Tracy, and son Jack live in Fargo and are deeply committed to this community,” Nelson said. “When the flood came in 2009, Rick and Tracy piled their driveway full of sand for anyone that needed it and sandbagged their community with their neighbors. Rick will work tirelessly to provide long-term relief for the Red River Valley.”

Walaker’s political endorsements cross party lines. He has also endorsed North Dakota Gov. John Hoeven, the state’s Republican candidate for U.S. Senate.

“My political affiliations vary because it’s based on the individual and not the party line,” Walaker said Saturday evening.

“I weighed this thing. I knew there was going to be some difficulties because some of the controversial things that have gone on in Congress. I’m very disappointed in the U.S. Congress right now. They don’t seem to have the process where they’re there to represent us. They’re there to represent the party. I have some real disagreements with that,” he said.

Timpe said Walaker offered to endorse Pomeroy. Walaker said he was approached about the endorsement.

Fargo Vice Mayor Tim Mahoney has also endorsed Pomeroy.

Walaker said he’s been asked to endorse several candidates in both local and statewide races. He said he has not been approached by more than one candidate per race. He was not approached by Berg’s campaign.

“Rick, I think, is a formidable candidate, I really do,” Walaker said. “But as far as the choice I made, it wasn’t on a personal basis, one versus the other. It’s more what they can do to help us through these times here in Fargo, and having some seniority in the U.S. Congress is very important.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter Sherri Richards at (701) 241-5556