Itâ€™s going to be a busy week for politics in North Dakota as the congressional delegation tours the state during the Easter recess and Public Service Commissioner Brian Kalk announces his plans for the 2012 U.S. Senate race.
Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., will meet with the Heraldâ€™s editorial board Wednesday morning, and Iâ€™ll be in the meeting to see what he has to say. Itâ€™s Hoevenâ€™s first visit with the editorial board since he was elected senator, so there should be a lot to discuss.
He also plans stops in Fargo, Bismarck and Minot this week, and heâ€™ll be in Grand Forks on Tuesday to tour the Energy and Environmental Research Center at UND to get an update on the centerâ€™s latest research.
Rep. Rick Berg, R-N.D., is holding three town hall meetings this week as he concludes a tour of four cities that began last Thursday.
Heâ€™ll wrap up the tour at 4 p.m. Friday at Grand Forksâ€™ Phoenix Elementary School, 351 Fourth Ave. S. Berg was in Minot last Thursday, and will also visit Bismarck on Tuesday and Fargo on Wednesday.
â€œAs we make tough decisions and work through the historic challenges ahead, I am committed to representing the state, listening to the concerns people have and doing what is best for North Dakota,â€ Berg said in a written statement earlier this month.
â€œNorth Dakotans deserve an honest conversation about the challenges facing our nation and I hope these town halls will start a new tradition of open communication between the people of North Dakota and those privileged to represent them,â€ he wrote.
Brian Kalk, a Republican member of the three-member Public Service Commission and a retired U.S. Marine, â€œwill formally announce his plans for the 2012 U.S. Senate race at 20 events across North Dakota,â€ according to a Saturday press release.
The press release goes on to list 20 different events all across the state, starting off Wednesday at 6 p.m. at the North Dakota State University Alumni Center in Fargo. Heâ€™ll also be in Grand Forks at 6 p.m. Saturday at the Canad Inns, Ambassador Room A.
What the press release doesnâ€™t say is what Kalk will be announcing. But all signs point to him officially stating that heâ€™s going to campaign to replace retiring Sen. Kent Conrad, D-N.D.
Hereâ€™s how Say Anything Blogâ€™s Rob Port put it earlier today:
â€œAnyone under the impression that Kalk is going to be traveling to 20 cities in the state to tell people heâ€™s not runningâ€¦ Iâ€™ve got a bridge to sell you.â€
And Kalkâ€™s website, which includes full details on all 20 events, now calls the Wednesday start to his tour a â€œcampaign kickoff.â€