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Democrat Ben Hanson announces run for U.S. House

Ben Hanson

FARGO -- A Fargo Democrat will run for North Dakota’s lone seat in the U.S. House of Representatives in 2018.

Former state Rep. Ben Hanson made the announcement early Wednesday morning, Aug. 16. The commercial broker for Archer Real Estate Services in Fargo is campaigning for a seat held by U.S. Rep. Kevin Cramer, who was first elected to the House in 2012. Cramer, a Republican and early supporter of President Donald Trump, has yet to announce whether he will run for a fourth two-year term.

“I’m running because I believe that North Dakota deserves a congressman who will focus on the needs of hard-working North Dakotans -- creating good paying jobs for working families, strengthening the middle class and building an economy that works for everyone,” he said in a statement. “Over the course of my campaign, I will focus on boosting job growth and jumpstarting our economy by investing in small businesses, an all-of-the-above energy strategy and rebuilding our infrastructure.”

Hanson called out Cramer in his statement, saying the Republican has “lost focus on issues that matter to North Dakotans and instead has become part of the mess that is Washington, D.C.”

Hanson served District 16 from 2013 to 2016, when he lost to Republicans Ben Koppelman and Andrew Marschall in a bid for one of two state House seats.

Duwayne Hendrickson, a Republican from Minot, also announced shortly after the election he would seek the House seat. The Minot man ran as a write-in candidate for Cramer’s seat in 2016.

April Baumgarten

April Baumgarten joined the Grand Forks Herald May 19, 2015, and covers crime and education. She grew up on a ranch 10 miles southeast of Belfield, where her family raises registered Hereford cattle. She double majored in communications and history/political science at Jamestown (N.D.) College, now known as University of Jamestown. During her time at the college, she worked as a reporter and editor-in-chief for the university's newspaper, The Collegian. Baumgarten previously worked for The Dickinson Press as a city government and energy reporter in 2011 before becoming the editor of the Hazen Star and Center Republican. She then returned to The Press as a news editor, where she helped lead an award-winning newsroom in recording the historical oil boom.

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