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Trump to return to Fargo next week for fundraiser

President Donald Trump enters Scheels Arena in Fargo on Wednesday, June 27, 2018.David Samson / Forum News Service

BISMARCK — President Donald Trump will be back in North Dakota next week to headline a “VIP reception and fundraiser” for Rep. Kevin Cramer’s campaign, the Republican congressman said Wednesday, Aug. 29.

Trump will be in Fargo Sept. 7. It will mark the president’s second visit to the state’s most populous city during the closely watched contest between Cramer and Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, who’s seeking a second term representing the deeply red state that Trump won with 63 percent of the vote.

Cramer’s campaign spokesman, Tim Rasmussen, deferred further comment about the visit to the National Republican Senatorial Committee. A spokeswoman for the group said Cramer had already confirmed the information that was available Wednesday.

A campaign email sent late Wednesday afternoon announced the fundraiser, which comes with a $1,000 price tag per couple. It will be held at the Delta Hotels by Marriott.

“President Trump has been a true friend to North Dakota by helping to advance our state’s economy and values,” the invitation states.

Heitkamp has held a wide fundraising advantage over Cramer. She has raised almost $11.3 million this election cycle and had $5.2 million on hand at the end of June, according to federal campaign finance records, while Cramer raised almost $3.3 million and had $2.4 million on hand.

Trump stumped for Cramer during a Fargo rally in late June as a few thousand supporters packed Scheels Arena. Calling Heitkamp a “liberal Democrat,” Trump criticized her record on tax cuts, health care, immigration and abortion.

Trump’s visit will also come amid some continued anxiety over his trade policies. Cramer brought Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross to Fargo last week, where Ross told agricultural producers to hang tough amid trade spats that have resulted in tariffs on soybeans and steel.

Cramer was an early supporter of Trump and has been a consistent booster and defender of the president. Heitkamp has had a more mixed relationship with Trump, criticizing his trade moves but boasting in one ad that she has often voted with him.

"The last time the president came to town, Congressman Cramer used the opportunity to embrace his agenda 100 percent of the time, regardless of what that means for North Dakotans — let's hope this time he uses the opportunity to stand up for our farmers in this trade war,” Heitkamp campaign spokeswoman Julia Krieger said in an emailed statement.

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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