GOP Rep. Cramer 'trending' toward ND Senate run

GOP Rep. Cramer 'trending' toward ND Senate run
© Greg Nash

North Dakota Republican Rep. Kevin CramerKevin John CramerPoll: GOP challenger narrowly leads Heitkamp in North Dakota Trump announces North Dakota rally for June 27 GOP Senate candidates sought support of anti-LGBT group: report MORE said Tuesday after leaving a meeting with President TrumpDonald John Trump20 weeks out from midterms, Dems and GOP brace for surprises Sessions responds to Nazi comparisons: 'They were keeping the Jews from leaving' Kim Jong Un to visit Beijing this week MORE that he is warming toward a potential Senate bid and would decide in about a month. 

Cramer told North Dakota Fox affiliate KFYR that Trump made a "persuasive case" to him and his family meant to convince him to take on Sen. Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampPoll: GOP challenger narrowly leads Heitkamp in North Dakota Trump plan to claw back billion in spending in peril Manchin becomes final Democrat to back bill preventing separation of immigrant families MORE (D-N.D.), who is up for reelection in November. 
 
When the KFYR anchor suggested that Cramer appeared to be leaning closer to a bid, Cramer agreed.  
 
"I think it is fair to say, and that my mindset and my decision-making is trending more that way, and certainly today’s meeting would certainly steer more towards a positive answer, but I’m not to the point where I’m settled in my own heart and mind," Cramer said.
 
He added that he and his wife would have to sit down to make the final decision, and that she has "veto power." 
 
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A bid by Cramer would shake up the field. Republicans have been looking to go on the offensive in the state, especially since Trump won North Dakota by 36 points in 2016. But a handful of potential candidates have sworn off bids, leaving state Sen. Tom Campbell the only major Republican candidate in the race. 
 
Cramer had initially been seen as a likely candidate for the Senate seat — his at-large congressional district also encompasses the entire state. But Cramer did not post strong fundraising figures in 2017 and had been supportive of Campbell's bid in the past, leading some to believe he might skip the risky bid and remain in his House seat. 
 
Tuesday's comments are his most overt signaling toward a potential bid in recent months, and he said he would decide soon in order to give people like Campbell clarity. 
 
"I want to be fair to that process because there are other people that are looking at the Senate race or an open House seat should I run for Senate," Cramer said. 
 
"I would expect sometime by the end of either January or early February I will make a decision, whether it is a yes or a no, and give people plenty of time to prepare for convention and primary and all of those things."