Berg unseats Pomeroy for ND's lone US House seatNorth Dakota has a new representative in the U.S. House.
By: Kristen Daum, Forum Communications Co.
North Dakota has a new representative in the U.S. House.
The Associated Press declared at 10 p.m. that Fargo Republican Rick Berg has unseated longtime Democratic incumbent Earl Pomeroy for the upcoming two-year term.
Still, as of 10 p.m., just over half the state's ballots had been counted, with Berg at 54 percent and Pomeroy at 46 percent of the vote.
U.S. representatives serve two-year terms and earn an annual salary of $174,000.
Berg and Pomeroy fought a lengthy and divisive battle for the past 10 months in their efforts to sway voters’ support.
Once Democratic Sen. Byron Dorgan announced his retirement just after the New Year, Pomeroy found himself in a vulnerable position early on in the 2010 campaign season.
In announcing his bid for re-election in early January, Pomeroy asked voters to give him their support in seeking a 10th term as the state’s representative.
Since 2004, Pomeroy had handily defeated his opponents by earning at least 60 percent of the statewide vote.
But a national landscape riddled with high-profile and contentious policy issues this year influenced North Dakota’s race and gave Berg a notable level of momentum.
The much-debated topic of health care reform drove Berg into the race in mid-January, placing him against several other Republicans who sought the chance to unseat Pomeroy.
In March, Berg outlasted his competitors – including Public Service Commissioner Kevin Cramer – to earn the North Dakota Republican Party’s endorsement.
That same month, Pomeroy was endorsed without question by the Democratic-NPL Party.
Over the many months leading up to Election Day, Berg’s and Pomeroy’s campaign tactics grew progressively polarizing.
Both candidates had their share of politicking through at-times slanted ads and blanket campaign statements that attempted to paint their opponent as unfit to represent the state.
Berg’s campaign relentlessly attempted to align Pomeroy with unpopular Democratic leadership in Washington, while focusing little on Berg’s accomplishments after 26 years representing Fargo in the North Dakota Legislature.
Pomeroy argued that Berg was dodging his record and defended his own votes in the U.S. Congress – saying any actions he took were in the best interest of North Dakota.
After months of arguing when, where and how they would debate, Berg and Pomeroy ultimately met for three debates in October.
Each debate brought a different tone and emotion from the candidates, but the topics discussed remained generally consistent – such as health care reform, Social Security, the economy, foreign affairs and Red River Valley flood protection.