“Top Republicans are pleading with Rep. Kevin Cramer (R) to reconsider his decision to spurn the U.S. Senate race in North Dakota, fearing the party is on track to blow a prime pickup opportunity. White House officials and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell are making another run at Cramer after internal opposition research on state Sen. Tom Campbell (R), the leading Republican to run in his place, turned up troubling information.”
The research that’s been found on Campbell:
“Campbell’s bank has foreclosed on North Dakota farmers.
Campbell was sued for fraud over the life insurance policy he obtained on his mother.
In 2015, then-state Sen. Campbell co-sponsored a bill easing licensing requirements for industrial hemp production in North Dakota.
Campbell shares intentions of growing hemp on his own farm.”
“Republicans are holding out hope that Cramer changes his mind. … The White House; McConnell; Sen. Cory Gardner of Colorado, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee; as well as influential GOP donors are all calling Cramer and urging him to reconsider.”
Former state Party Chairman Gary Emineth (R) is also running, “but top GOP officials in Washington don’t view him as a viable alternative” to Campbell. (Washington Examiner)
MORE ON THE GOP SIDE. Former House candidate Paul Schaffner (R), who launched his campaign Monday, “comes into the race with legal baggage. He was arrested during a prostitution sting in Bismarck in May 2017, according to the Bismarck Tribune, and he's currently appealing the Class B misdemeanor to the North Dakota Supreme Court.”
“Early last year, a North Dakota judge denied Schaffner’s request to terminate a domestic violence protection order received by his ex-wife in 2012 that said he was a ‘credible’ safety threat because he made the request in the wrong case. Court records indicate the order expired at the end of last year.”
“North Dakota Republican Party Chairman Kelly Armstrong, a state senator from Dickinson, said he doesn't know anyone who was ‘all that aware’ of Schaffner and called his legal troubles ‘pretty much insurmountable.’ He said while candidates like Schaffner ‘have every right to run, they don't have the right to be taken seriously.’” (West Fargo Pioneer)