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Patrick Springer, Published March 15 2011

Pomeroy considering run for governor

Earl Pomeroy, North Dakota’s former lone U.S. House member, is mulling a run for governor, a state Democratic party leader said Monday.

Pomeroy, who lost his bid for a 10th term when he was unseated by Republican Rick Berg in November, was asked to consider running for governor by Mark Schneider, chairman of the North Dakota Democratic-NPL Party.

“The prospect of the governor’s office I think really appeals to him,” Schneider said. “He told me he would much rather live in North Dakota than in Washington, D.C.”

Pomeroy, who could not be reached for comment Monday, took a job in Washington with the Atlanta-based law firm Alston & Bird, which has a specialty in health care.

Since leaving office, Pomeroy maintains a residence in North Dakota, Schneider said. He travels regularly to the state to visit his children in Bismarck and his wife in Grand Forks.

“He’s got a very good job,” Schneider said. The party is actively trying to recruit candidates for governor, U.S. House and U.S. Senate, as well as legislative districts and other statewide constitutional offices.

Republican Gov. Jack Dalrymple, the former lieutenant governor, replaced Republican John Hoeven when Hoeven was elected to the U.S. Senate to occupy the seat vacated when Democrat Byron Dorgan retired from office.

Democrats Heidi Heit­kamp, a former state attorney general and tax commissioner, and her brother, Joel Heitkamp, a talk-radio host and former state senator, also would make good gubernatorial candidates, Schneider said.

A spokesman for Dalrymple said the governor had no comment about the possibility that Pomeroy could enter the governor’s race next year.

“It’s just too early to be talking about this,” said Jeff Zent, Dalrymple’s spokesman. “The governor’s completely focused on issues that are important to the state.”

Readers can reach Forum reporter Patrick Springer at (701) 241-5522