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Trump's return to Fargo raises $1 million for Senate campaign, Cramer says

Rep. Kevin Cramer speaks with President Donald Trump at Scheels Arena in Fargo on Wednesday, June 27. Trump returns to Fargo Friday, Sept. 7. David Samson / The Forum

BISMARCK — Friday's Fargo fundraiser for North Dakota Republican Rep. Kevin Cramer's Senate bid headlined by President Donald Trump has brought in more than $1 million, the congressman's campaign said Thursday, Sept. 6.

"President Trump's record of cutting taxes, eliminating harmful regulations, and working to combat illegal immigration deeply resonates with North Dakota voters," Cramer said in a statement.

In an invitation announcing the event last week, Cramer said the fundraiser was meant to ensure he had the resources to compete with Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp. She raised almost $11.3 million this election cycle and had $5.2 million on hand as of the end of June, according to federal campaign finance records, while Cramer raised almost $3.3 million and had $2.4 million on hand.

In a "state of the race memo" dated Aug. 27, Cramer's campaign manager Pat Finken said they're leading in public and internal polls but warned "our position could be quickly eroded starting in September due to a cash and spending advantage enjoyed by our opposition."

Heitkamp campaign spokeswoman Julia Krieger said Cramer has a "clear enthusiasm deficit" and he's had to "rely on the president's coattails at every turn."

Cramer's statement said "hundreds" of North Dakotans plan to attend the fundraiser, and more than 90 percent of the donors are from the state. A Cramer campaign spokesman deferred to the White House for more specific attendance figures, but a message wasn't immediately returned.

Last week's invitation said the event would come with a $1,000 price tag per couple. The fundraiser will be held at the Delta Hotels by Marriott and will come just weeks after Trump held a rally at a packed Scheels Arena in Fargo in late June.

The state Democratic-NPL announced Thursday it would hold a "day of action" to reach out to voters during the fundraiser.

John Hageman

John Hageman covers North Dakota politics from the Forum News Service bureau in Bismarck. He attended the University of Minnesota in the Twin Cities, where he studied journalism and political science, and he previously worked at the Grand Forks Herald and Bemidji Pioneer.  

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