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Republican U.S. House candidate Rick Berg, right, speaks with North Dakota First Lady Mikey Hoeven during the Lincoln Day Dinner at the Dickinson Elks Lodge Monday evening.
Republican U.S. House candidate Rick Berg, right, speaks with North Dakota First Lady Mikey Hoeven during the Lincoln Day Dinner at the Dickinson Elks Lodge Monday evening.

Berg's campaign manager resigns

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news Dickinson, 58602

Dickinson North Dakota 1815 1st Street West 58602

Rick Berg, Republican U.S. House candidate, spoke at a fundraiser in Dickinson hours after he asked for his campaign manager's resignation Monday.

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Paul Sorenson, Berg's former campaign manager, admitted Monday morning to using e-mail addresses from the state Republican Party's e-mail list, Berg said.

Sorenson retained the list he had access to while working for the Republican Party and sent a newsletter to some of the addresses on the list, Berg said.

"He told us it was just a contact list that he'd developed over the years," said Tom Nelson, who has taken over as Berg's campaign manager.

The list is meant for endorsed Republican candidates and Berg said Sorenson misled him about its origin. The e-mails that caused the controversy asked recipients if they wanted to subscribe to a Berg campaign newsletter, Berg said.

"Our campaign is one where we want to be upfront and honest, even if it's not easy. So I asked for his resignation, which he provided," Berg said. "This was a lapse in judgment by Paul. It's certainly not a pattern or anything like that."

Sorenson told the Associated Press he "was not completely upfront with Berg."

Sorenson using the list "gives everybody else a step down," said Cindy Klein, District 37 Democrat-NPL chairwoman.

"Shame on Paul Sorenson," Klein said. "For him to have that list and for nobody else to have it, you know in my opinion, it should be given to the other Republicans who are running for the nomination."

Kevin Cramer, one of Berg's opponents for the House seat was also at the Lincoln Day Dinner fundraiser in Dickinson. Cramer said he would have taken a similar approach had he faced the same situation.

"In my mind, Rick took exactly appropriate action and he has restored faith in the process and has demonstrated that he cares more about the party and I just congratulate him for it and I appreciate it," Cramer said. "It's a good sign for our party and it's a good sign that Rick Berg -- if he should win this endorsement and this nomination -- has the right stuff to be a congressmen."

He is confident Berg took action as soon as he was made aware of the truth, Cramer said.

"I'm fired up that we can all move forward and set our sights on winning the house race in the fall and not let these side bar issues distract us from the real issues," Cramer said.

Milo and Arlys Dullum of Dickinson, who also attended the fundraiser, said they don't think the news will affect the campaign. They added it hasn't affected their opinions either.

Berg said he apologized to Gary Emineth, GOP state chairman, after learning of the list's origin and apologized for the inappropriate use of it.

The state Republican convention is scheduled Friday through Sunday in Grand Forks.

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