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North Dakota’s Dorgan Could Face Familiar But Thrice-Foiled Foe

Three-term Sen. Byron L. Dorgan, a long-popular North Dakota Democrat, is a strong favorite for his upcoming 2010 race, coming off his 2004 re-election with 68 percent of the vote. But he could face a challenge from Republican Duane Sand, a former Navy officer who may still harbor hopes of serving in Congress – despite three lopsided defeats over the past decade.

Sand filed paperwork with the Federal Election Commission (FEC) registering a committee for a possible Senate bid. Yet he suggested in an e-mail exchange with CQ Politics that this was a very tentative move, which he attributed to FEC’s requirement that even undeclared candidates must report total expenditures of as little as $5,000.

Sand said he formed the committee because it costs more than $5,000 “to conduct something as simple as a poll.”

Sand, who graduated from the Naval Academy, served on three nuclear submarines and in Iraq. He has touted this background as the Republican challenger to Democratic Sen. Kent Conrad in 2000 and to Democratic Rep. Earl Pomeroy, North Dakota’s only House member, in 2004 and 2008.

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