Rep. Kevin Cramer (R) said Tuesday after his meeting with President Trump that he is “trending more” toward a challenge to Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D). Cramer said he expects to make his decision by the end of January or early February.
After the meeting, Cramer said, "I don’t have a decision today, but I had a good meeting with the president.”
He added of a potential bid, "I think it is fair to say and that my mind set 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.” (KFYR-TV)
ISSUE TO WATCH. Cramer “has paid his family members more than $150,000 and received more than $200,000 in reimbursements from his campaign account, a practice ethics watchdogs have questioned in the past.”
“Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington, a watchdog group, released a report in 2012 documenting how members can legally use campaign funds to pay their family members, as long as they don't pay above market rate.”
The practice is "legally alright but morally kind of sticky," said Jordan Libowitz, the communications director at CREW. "It's important for supporters to know this money is basically going back into [the candidate's] own pocket.'" (Politico)