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Mike Nowatzki, Forum News Service, Published March 17 2014

George B. Sinner to seek Democratic nomination to challenge Cramer for ND congressional seat

BISMARCK – State Sen. George B. Sinner will kick off his campaign for the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday, setting up a possible contest with first-term Republican Rep. Kevin Cramer.

“We are very excited that Sen. Sinner has decided to get into this race,” North Dakota Democratic-NPL Party Executive Director Chad Oban said. “It’s going to be an exceptionally competitive race.”

Sinner, D-Fargo, will officially announce his candidacy to seek the party’s endorsement at 10 a.m. at Sinner Brothers & Bresnahan, his family’s agribusiness near his hometown of Casselton, and then again at 3 p.m. at the Bismarck Veterans Memorial Public Library.

Sinner has been considering a run against Cramer for several months, and he emerged as the frontrunner in the past couple of months, even as he pushed back his decision multiple times. In late October, he told Forum News Service he expected to decide around the end of the year whether he would run.

Oban said Sinner’s background in business, experience in the Legislature and the fact that he’s not a career politician make him an ideal candidate to challenge Cramer. Sinner is the senior vice president with American Federal Bank in Fargo and son of former North Dakota governor George A. “Bud” Sinner. He was elected to a four-year term in the state Senate in 2012.

Cramer served nine years on the North Dakota Public Service Commission before being elected to the U.S. House in November 2012, winning the seat left open by one-term Rep. Rick Berg’s unsuccessful bid for U.S. Senate. Cramer also was chairman of the North Dakota Republican Party in the early 1990s and served as state tourism director from 1993 to 1997 and as state economic development and finance director from 1997-2000 under former governor Ed Schafer.

The Democratic-NPL Party will endorse its slate of candidates at the party’s state convention March 28-30 in Fargo.

Cramer will seek the Republican endorsement at the GOP’s state convention the next weekend in Minot, as will DuWayne Hendrickson of Minot. Libertarian Party candidate Jack Seaman also is running for the House seat.