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Club Issues Pre-Emptive Strike Against Berg Senate Bid

Freshman Rep. Rick Berg (R-N.D.) has not even announced his Senate campaign yet, but he probably shouldn’t expect any support from the Club for Growth if he does run for retiring Democratic Sen. Kent Conrad’s seat.

The conservative, anti-government-spending organization issued a pre-emptive news release Thursday in which Club for Growth President Chris Chocola said the GOP “should demand better” than Berg for Senate.

Berg has not said he plans to run for Senate yet, but sources close to the Congressman told Roll Call earlier this week that he is likely to jump into the race and that an announcement is expected in the near future.

The financially influential club cited several votes the Congressman has taken in his four months in office that show he is not a “conservative” leader for the state.

“The country needs the next Senator from North Dakota to have a pro-growth agenda in the U.S. Senate,” Chocola said. “Congressman Rick Berg lacks leadership in addressing our nation’s spending problem at a time when people want government to spend less, not more. The Republican Party can and should demand better.”

At least one other North Dakota Republican is already in the race: Public Service Commissioner Brian Kalk announced Wednesday that he will pursue the seat. However, many other Republicans, such as state Sen. Tony Grindberg, Bismarck Mayor John Warford and state Treasurer Kelly Schmidt, have indicated their interest in running as well. But it’s unclear whether their plans might change if Berg runs for Senate and opens up the state’s only House seat.