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Plain Talk: A local candidate sounds off, and Cramer talks Jan. 6 texts, funding bill, gun tracking, and more

Ben Hanson, a candidate for the Cass County Commission, and Sen. Kevin Cramer join this episode of Plain Talk.

Kevin Cramer
North Dakota Congressman Kevin Cramer
Dave Olson/The Forum
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MINOT, N.D. — In North Dakota, we elect a lot of people.

That's not a bad thing, but sometimes once you get down to the bottom of your ballot, past higher-profile candidates for state and federal office, you begin to see some names you might not be very familiar with.

Names that are often all alone in their races, representing candidates are facing no opposition.

One of those names this cycle is Ben Hanson, who joined me on this episode of Plain Talk. He's a former state lawmaker, and a Democrat, though he's now seeking a nonpartisan office on the Cass County Commisison. He is facing some opposition — former Republican state Sen. Tony Grindberg is running against him — but he has an interesting story to tell about the struggle to get the public interested local races.

It's a paradox, given popular ideas like "local control" are. Local officials handle policy and appropriations that intersect with many of the electorate's top priorities — from the economy and jobs to mental health and crime — yet these races are often not competitive and overlooked.

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Also on this episode, Sen. Kevin Cramer joined to talk about the recent headlines over text messages sent to him about the 2020 election from current attorney general, and then U.S. attorney, Drew Wrigley.

He also talked about the Senate passing a spending bill to avoid a government shutdown, the importance of permitting reform here in America in the context of Russia using its energy market share to bully the rest of the world, and the financial industry's efforts to try and track gun purchases.

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Opinion by Rob Port
Rob Port is a news reporter, columnist, and podcast host for the Forum News Service. He has an extensive background in investigations and public records. He has covered political events in North Dakota and the upper Midwest for two decades. Reach him at rport@forumcomm.com. Click here to subscribe to his Plain Talk podcast.
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