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A GUIDE TO THE CONGRESSIONAL RACES: NORTH DAKOTA

3 minute read
TIME

NORTH DAKOTA

Population (1994): 638,800 (down 0.1% from 1990), 0.2% of U.S. total

Voting-age population: 467,000; 1994 turnout, 50%

Median age: 32.4 years

Median household income: $28,278 ($3,986 below U.S. median)

Unemployment: 2.9% (2.7% below U.S. average, March 1996)

Last presidential election: Clinton (D): 32% Bush (R): 44% Perot (I): 23%

Congressional delegation: Three Democrats, no Republicans

In a state where everybody seems to know everybody else, dry seasons and bankrupt farmlands in the 1980s explain why North Dakota’s population is less now than it was in 1930. Its land yields about one-tenth of the U.S. wheat supply, and agriculture makes up about half of its economy. North Dakota tends to send Republicans to Bismarck and Democrats to Washington, has no voter registration, one of the lowest divorce rates in the nation, and only one clinic that performs abortions. No wonder the state motto is, “Liberty and Union, Now and Forever, One and Inseparable.”

KEVIN CRAMER (R) District–At large (Statewide)

BORN: Jan. 21, 1961, Rolette EDUCATION: Concordia College at Moorhead (Minn.), B.A., 1983 FAMILY: Wife, Kris; four children RELIGION: Lutheran MILITARY: None OCCUPATION: Director, North Dakota Tourism Department, 1993- POLITICAL CAREER: North Dakota Republican Party executive director, 1989-93, state chairman, 1991-93 ADDRESS: 105 East Broadway, Box 7395, Bismarck 58507. Tel.: 701-255-4688

The Republican Party has given Cramer some strong support. He was invited to speak at its convention, where he lauded G.O.P. values and wished his four-year-old daughter happy birthday. And both Newt Gingrich and Dick Armey came to town on his behalf. Though Cramer promised that with their help he could rejuvenate the statewide Garrison Diversion water project, the local Democratic party faulted him for “the company he keeps.”

THE ISSUES

Budget YES Medicare YES Defense NO Abortion YES Guns NO Gays YES Bosnia YES NAFTA YES Welfare YES Medical Leave NO (For an explanation of these issues, see the front of this guide.)

QUOTE OF NOTE: [On his opponent’s “No Newt” picnic] “No matter how much ketchup and mustard you put on [a hot dog], it’s still baloney in a tube.”

EARL POMEROY (D) District–At large

BORN: Sept. 2, 1952, Valley City EDUCATION: U of North Dakota, B.A., 1974, J.D., 1979 FAMILY: Wife, Laurie Kirby; two adopted children RELIGION: Presbyterian MILITARY: None OCCUPATION: Lawyer POLITICAL CAREER: North Dakota House, 1981-85; insurance commissioner, 1985-92; U.S. House, 1992- ADDRESS: P.O. Box 746, Bismarck 58502. Tel.: 701-222-0424

Saying income shouldn’t be a barrier to those who want “the joy of children,” Pomeroy brought home his second adopted child this spring, just three weeks after voting for a bill to give parents making less than $75,000 a $5,000 tax credit for adopting a child. (Earning $133,600, Pomeroy wouldn’t qualify for the benefit.) The two-term incumbent has also introduced legislation to reduce health-insurance costs for the self-employed and allow income-tax deductions for college tuition.

THE ISSUES

Budget NO Medicare NO Defense NO Abortion YES Guns NO Gays YES Bosnia NO NAFTA NO Welfare NO* Medical Leave yes (For an explanation of these issues, see the front of this guide.)

QUOTE OF NOTE: “It’s important to remember that there is no magic bullet that can be shot out of Washington to make our economic worries go away.”

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