GOP's Cramer wins ND House seat; Senate race close

Associated Press Modified: November 7, 2012 at 1:15 am •  Published: November 7, 2012

Gulleson, a farmer and rancher, criticized House Republicans for failing to vote on a new farm bill before the old one expired at the end of September and said Cramer did not recognize the bill's importance to North Dakota farmers. She also criticized him for accepting campaign contributions from the coal industry and other interests regulated by the Public Service Commission.

Cramer's victory will leave a vacancy on the three-member commission that regulates utilities, coal mining, pipelines and grain elevators. It will be up to Republican Gov. Jack Dalrymple to appoint someone to fill the two remaining years of his term.

Cramer's triumph came in his third U.S. House campaign. He lost to Democratic incumbent Earl Pomeroy in 1996 and 1998. He also had a setback two years ago, when Berg won the endorsement of GOP convention delegates to run against Pomeroy. Berg went on to defeat Pomeroy with 55 percent of the vote.

This year, Cramer bypassed the Republican state convention and allowed five Republican rivals to fight it out for delegates' endorsement. Their choice, Public Service Commissioner Brian Kalk, lost to Cramer in the June Republican primary.

"Win or lose, there's very few things quite like running for Congress ... and I've been on both ends of it," Cramer told a crowd of supporters in Bismarck after Gulleson called to congratulate him. "My heart is so full of gratitude."

Gulleson said in a statement that she wished Cramer well "and am looking forward to the next chapter."

"To the thousands of North Dakotans who put the votes behind me in this race, volunteered and gave to my campaign, I will be eternally grateful," she said.