Hoeven Officially Becomes Senate Nominee; Next Stop Washington

Posted June 8, 2010 at 8:47pm

North Dakota Gov. John Hoeven officially became the state’s GOP Senate nominee Tuesday night, a mere formality for the odds-on favorite to win the open seat in November.

The popular three-term governor ran unopposed in the GOP primary and will face state Sen. Tracy Potter, who was also unopposed for the Democratic Senate nod. Hoeven is heavily favored to win the seat being vacated by Sen. Byron Dorgan (D), who shocked colleagues in January by announcing his plan to retire.

While the North Dakota Senate race looks to be a snoozer this fall, the battle in the state’s at-large House seat is expected to be among the most competitive of the cycle.

Republicans are heavily targeting longtime Rep. Earl Pomeroy (D), who was unopposed in Tuesday’s primary. Pomeroy will face state Rep. Rick Berg (R), the party-backed candidate who is expected to win the GOP nod easily over political novice J.D. Donaghe.

Pomeroy, a nine-term Congressman who won the previous cycle with 62 percent, is considered vulnerable this year because of his vote in support of health care reform and the broader anti-incumbent wave that is threatening many incumbents.