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Published December 02 2010

Berg tops House ‘millionaires club’

North Dakota Rep.-elect Rick Berg “appears to be the wealthiest newly elected Republican” in the U.S. House, according to an analysis by Politico.

The Washington, D.C.-based politics website analyzed the financial disclosure statements of incoming representatives and found Berg will be in rich company for the next session of Congress, which begins in January.

Candidates for Congress, like elected members, are required to file disclosure statements detailing their and their spouse’s income, assets, investments and other financial holdings.

Berg will be among a “millionaires club” of freshmen lawmakers, nearly a quarter of whom hold assets worth $1 million or more, Politico reported.

Berg specifically claimed assets exceeding $20 million, Politico reported.

“Rick started with a little bit of debt out of college and worked very hard to be successful,” Berg spokesman Tom Nelson said in response to Politico’s report.

Berg, a Fargo legislator who ousted incumbent Democrat Earl Pomeroy in November, has had a long career in commercial real estate in the Fargo-Moorhead area.

In 1981, he was a founding partner of Goldmark, a regional housing and commercial real estate company.

Berg now serves as senior vice president of Goldmark Schlossman Commercial Real Estate Services Inc.

Documents he filed during the campaign with the North Dakota Secretary of State’s Office and the U.S. House of Representatives detail the dozens of business interests he holds, in addition to his ties with Goldmark Schlossman.

Berg’s financial disclosure statement states that he serves as a director or partner with at least a dozen other businesses, most of them also tied to real estate – such as the Fargo-based Kilbourne Group.

Also among Berg’s holdings are stakes in many independent apartment complexes and commercial real estate properties in Fargo, Grand Forks, Bismarck, Minot, N.D., and Washburn, N.D. He also claimed ownership of farmland in Benson County, N.D.

Berg’s wife, Tracy, maintains a private medical practice in Fargo and owns a cattle ranch in Oliver County, N.D., according to the disclosure statement.

Politico stated its analysis is “inexact, thanks to broad disclosure results,” which allow members of Congress some leeway in what they declare as assets.

For instance, federal lawmakers declare their wealth in designated increments, rather than specific numbers.


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