Dems endorse Potter for SenateBismarck state Sen. Tracy Potter is ready to step into the shoes of retiring U.S. Sen. Byron Dorgan — but he says he knows he can’t fill them.
By: Forum Communications Co., The Dickinson Press
Forum Communications Co.
FARGO — Bismarck state Sen. Tracy Potter is ready to step into the shoes of retiring U.S. Sen. Byron Dorgan — but he says he knows he can’t fill them.
“It is impossible to replace Byron Dorgan,” Potter said Saturday morning as he accepted the Democratic-NPL Party’s unanimous endorsement for the U.S. Senate race, which officially pits him against GOP challenger Gov. John Hoeven.
“No freshman senator — not Tracy Potter, not John Hoeven — can deliver for North Dakota the way Byron Dorgan has in his three terms in the United States Senate,” Potter said. “I can and will deliver in a different way … and I have no doubt that I will be a better United States senator than John Hoeven could ever be.”
Although many Democrats said they would consider a Senate bid in the weeks since Dorgan announced he would not seek another term, Potter was the only candidate to step forward.
He reiterated Saturday his pledge to run a positive campaign and his desire to raise the level of civility in politics.
However, Potter still offered criticism of Hoeven’s bid for Senate throughout his acceptance speech.
“Those of us in the Legislature know Hoeven never walks down the hall to fight for legislation,” Potter said. “He can delegate, but he can’t legislate. … It is my goal in this campaign to make John Hoeven continue to be governor and finish the term we elected him to 17 months ago.”
Potter — like other Democrats — realizes the uphill battle he faces against Hoeven, whose time as governor has made him popular among many North Dakotans.
But Potter says he’s optimistic about his chances.
Potter, a Bismarck native who grew up in Grand Forks, has a history of activism in North Dakota politics. This is the 59-year-old’s third bid for elected office.
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