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Ryan Johnson, Forum Communications Co., Published October 29 2010

Both Hoeven, Potter say economy is Job 1

Dealing with the economic crisis is the top priority for North Dakota’s next member of the U.S. Senate, said Republican Gov. John Hoeven and Democratic-NPL state Sen. Tracy Potter.

But how they would deal with that issue – and the other priorities they have for the Senate seat that retiring Sen. Byron Dorgan has held since 1992 – illustrates the major differences between the two candidates.

Libertarian candidate Keith J. Hanson also will be on Tuesday’s ballot.

With more than 15 million people out of work nationwide, Hoeven said getting the economy going again is “job No. 1.”

“We’ve got to get people back to work in this country,” he said. “That’s the engine that drives the car.”

Potter said the economy is “always No. 1” and the Senate needs to help foster the economic recovery.

“The recession is over, but the recovery is so slow that we’ve got a fragile economy,” he said. “We can’t do anything that sends us back into a recession.”

Hoeven said he disagrees with Potter’s willingness to raise taxes, referring to his call to allow the George W. Bush-era tax cuts to expire for the country’s top wage earners. He said that’s one example that shows Potter wouldn’t bring “the right approach” to the Senate.

But Potter said the issue shows a “stark” difference between his beliefs and Hoeven’s reliance on an economic platform that “trickles down resources” from the richest Americans to the lowest wage earners.

For more information on the candidates, see the Online Voters Guide: http://www17.thevoterguide.org/v/forum/?sfr=1288328432375

Ryan Johnson writes for the Grand Forks Herald