Hoeven faces primary challenge from political newcomer

Hoeven faces primary challenge from political newcomer

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) – U.S. Sen. John Hoeven of North Dakota’s quest for a third term in the highly conservative state has not been as smooth as his previous runs, but he is considered a shoo-in Tuesday in the Republican primary.

Hoeven faces Riley Kuntz, an oil worker, and poorly funded political newcomer.

Democrats endorsed Katrina Christenson, an engineering professor at Jamestown University, for the Senate. She faces a largely unknown challenger in Tuesday’s primary, Fargo art and antique dealer Michael Steele.

Hoeven, 65, had a setback at the GOP convention in April when he narrowly won the approval of GOP delegates over the leader of the party’s ultra-conservative wing. Bismarck State Rep. Rick Becker portrayed Hoeven as a spendthrift, governmental politician who had lost touch with his conservative base.

Hoeven countered by touting his involvement in North Dakota’s economic development and pointed out how fiercely he opposes most of President Joe Biden’s policies. Hoeven received a video message of support from former President Donald Trump.

Convention endorsements guarantee candidates a place on the June primary election ballot and party support against all challengers.

Also Read: Hoeven faces primary challenge from political newcomer

After Becker promised he wouldn’t run in the primary, Kuntz, 39, decided to challenge Hoeven.

“I’m a big fan of term limits,” said Kuntz, who gathered the 300 signatures needed to put on the primary ballot.

Republican contests for more than two dozen legislative seats may help draw voters to the polls. GOP Gov. Doug Burgum, who won’t be re-elected until 2024, donated more than $1.2 million ahead of Tuesday’s primary, much of it to a political campaign focused on defeating Republican candidates far-right or those who disagree with his spending initiatives. And political goals.

Hoeven, a banker and former Democrat won his last two terms in the Senate with more than 76% of the vote. He switched parties four years before a successful run for governor in 2000. He is the only North Dakota governor to have won three four-year terms. He resigned in December 2010, midway through his third term, after winning his Senate seat.

Hoeven has raised more than $3.2 million for his Senate campaign leading to Tuesday’s primary, the filings show. Kuntz raised less than $5,000.

On the Democratic side, Christenson raised just over $21,000, and Steele raised $2,100, according to Federal Election Commission documents.

Hoeven faces primary challenge from political newcomer

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