Kevin Cramer

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Kevin Cramer
Kevin Cramer official photo.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from North Dakota's at-large district
Assumed office
January 3, 2013
Preceded by Rick Berg
Member of the North Dakota Public Service Commission
In office
August 1, 2003 – December 31, 2012
Preceded by Leo Reinbold
Succeeded by Julie Fedorchak
Personal details
Born Kevin John Cramer
(1961-01-21) January 21, 1961 (age 57)
Rolette, North Dakota, U.S.
Political party Republican
Education Concordia College, Minnesota (BA)
University of Mary (MA)

Kevin John Cramer (born January 21, 1961) is an American politician serving as the U.S. Representative for North Dakota's at-large congressional district since 2013. Cramer previously chaired the North Dakota Republican Party (1991–1993) and served as State Tourism Director (1993–1997) and Economic Development Director (1997–2000). He was elected to the North Dakota Public Service Commission from 2003 to 2012.

He is the Republican nominee for the 2018 U.S. Senate election in North Dakota..

Early life and education

Cramer was born in Rolette, North Dakota, the first of five children of Richard and Clarice Cramer. He was raised in Kindred, North Dakota, in Cass County. Cramer graduated from Kindred High School. He received a B.A. degree from Concordia College in Moorhead, Minnesota, in 1983. He earned a master's degree in management from the University of Mary in Bismarck, North Dakota, in 2003.[1]

Early political career

After college, Cramer campaigned for an unsuccessful Republican tax commissioner candidate in 1984. In 1986, he campaigned for U.S. Senator Mark Andrews' bid for re-election. Andrews lost to North Dakota Democratic-Nonpartisan League Party U.S. Senator Kent Conrad. Conrad's party is the North Dakota affiliate of the Democratic Party. Cramer went on to work for the state Republican Party.

He was the Chairman of the North Dakota Republican Party from 1991 to 1993. At age 30, he was the youngest person to be named state party chairman.

In 1993, Republican Governor Ed Schafer appointed Cramer to be State Tourism Director. He served in that position until he was appointed to become Economic Development Director in 1997. In 1996, House Majority Leader Dick Armey of Texas, a North Dakota native, persuaded Cramer to challenge Democratic U.S. Congressman Earl Pomeroy in North Dakota's at-large congressional district. Pomeroy defeated him 55%–43%.[2] In 1998, Cramer faced Pomeroy in a rematch. Pomeroy defeated him again, this time by a margin of 56%–41%.[3]

Following his stint as Director of Economic Development, Cramer became Director of the Harold Schafer Leadership Foundation. He served in that position until he was appointed to the Public Service Commission by Republican Governor John Hoeven.[4] Cramer was elected to a six-year term in 2004 when he defeated NPL nominee Ron Gumeringer 65%–35%.[5]

Cramer co-chairs the Roughrider Honor Flight program. This program gives World War Two veterans the chance to visit the World War Two memorial in Washington, D.C. Cramer has worked to locate veterans and raise money for them to take part in the program.[6]

On January 14, 2010, Cramer announced that he would run for the North Dakota seat in the United States House of Representatives in the 2010 election.[7] Cramer was very visible in early 2010 at North Dakota town hall meetings, where he opposed health care legislation passed by the U.S. House in late 2009.[8] Cramer attended numerous Tea Party rallies in North Dakota, where he spoke about energy, taxes, jobs and the U.S. Constitution.[9] He was unsuccessful in receiving the nomination at the state Republican Party convention in March 2010, losing to former House Majority Leader Rick Berg.

Later in 2010, Cramer won reelection to a second term to the Public Service Commission, defeating Democratic candidate Brad Crabtree 61%–35%.[10]

U.S. House of Representatives (2013–present)

Cramer's first official portait

Elections

2012

In 2012, incumbent U.S. Representative Rick Berg decided to retire to run for the U.S. Senate. Cramer decided to run for the seat a fourth time.

Various national conservative groups, include FreedomWorks and the Club for Growth, endorsed Cramer, while Berg endorsed Cramer's rival, fellow Public Service Commissioner Brian Kalk.[11] In the Republican primary election in June 2012, Cramer received 54,405 votes (54%) to Kalk's 45,415 votes (45%).[12]

In the November 2012 general election, Cramer went on to defeat Democratic-NPL State Representative Pam Gulleson in the general election, with Cramer receiving 173,585 votes (55%) to Gulleson's 131,870 votes (42%). Libertarian Party candidate Eric Olson received about 3% of the vote.[13]

Cramer was sworn in on January 3, 2013.[14]

2014

In 2014, Cramer ran for reelection, running unopposed for renomination as the Republican candidate.[15]

Cramer won the general election with 55% of the vote, defeating Democratic-NPL nominee George B. Sinner, who received 38%. A Libertarian candidate, Jack Seaman, received slightly under 6%.[16]

2016

In 2016, Cramer sought election to a third term in Congress. He ran unopposed in the primary election and defeated Democratic-NPL nominee Chase Iron Eyes, a Native American activist, in the general election.[17][18]

2018 Senate campaign

After months of speculation, Cramer announced on January 11, 2018,[19] that he would not seek the Republican nomination for U.S. Senate to run against North Dakota Democratic-Nonpartisan League Party incumbent Heidi Heitkamp and would instead run for re-election to the U.S. House.[20] However, on February 15, 2018, Cramer announced that he had changed his mind and would run for the U.S. Senate in 2018.[21] Odney advertising firm president Pat Finken serves as Cramer's campaign manager.[22] On April 7,[23] Cramer secured the official endorsement of the North Dakota Republican Party. Three days later, his campaign announced it had raised $1.35 million in the first quarter of 2018, most of which was raised in late February and March.[24]

In June 2018, The Washington Post reported that Cramer had contacted the White House to seek political help in his Senate campaign and that Cramer was upset that President Donald Trump had not publicly criticized incumbent Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp in the same way that he had criticized other Democrats.[25] Cramer later publicly criticized White House staff and argued that Trump was not criticizing Heitkamp because she was a woman.[25] President Trump scheduled a June 2018 trip to North Dakota to campaign for Cramer, a trip which Politico reported "could go a long way toward extinguishing tensions between the White House and the Senate hopeful."[26]

Cramer secured the Republican nomination for the United States Senate on June 12, 2018.[27]

Committee assignments

Caucus memberships

Positions and tenure

Abortion

Cramer opposes abortion. He is a critic of Planned Parenthood and has called for cutting off public funding of the group.[30][31] In 2013, Cramer condemned the Supreme Court's decision in Roe v. Wade and tied an uptick in mass shootings to the legalization of abortion and a demise in religious values.[32] This remark was criticized by the director of the North Dakota Democratic Party and in Cosmopolitan. Cramer said "I was asked recently by a reporter if I am afraid that some people would attack me if I speak like this. And I said, 'No, I am not afraid they will, I am quite certain they will."[33][34] In the same speech, Cramer stated of U.S. society: "We have normalized perversion and perverted God's natural law."[32]

LGBT rights

During his 2018 campaign, Cramer sought and received the support of the Public Advocate of the United States, an anti-LGBT group which advocates for conversion therapy and ties homosexuality to pedophilia.[35] In an eight-question survey for the group, Cramer said he would oppose "'Transgender Bathrooms' legislation and regulations - which have the effect of encouraging and protecting pedophiles".[35] Cramer also agreed that "public schools should be 'prevented from brainwashing elementary school children with the Homosexual Agenda.'"[35] Cramer indicated support requiring schools to teach that there are only two genders and granting Christian businesses the right to not service same-sex weddings.[35] A spokesman for Cramer said "Let's be clear. Congressman Cramer doesn't support the teaching of history with any special emphasis on any particular group. History is history and should be taught as such. Additionally, Kevin does not think transgender people are at all comparable to pedophiles -this a gross misinterpretation of the survey question."[35]

Cramer opposes same-sex marriage and condemned the Supreme Court of the United States' decision in Obergefell v. Hodges.[36][37][38][35]

Health care

Cramer opposes the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) legislation and has voted to repeal it.[39][40] Cramer voted to repeal the estate tax.[41]

Donald Trump

Cramer supported President Donald Trump's 2017 executive order banning entry to the U.S. by citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries. He stated that "I think what Donald Trump is doing is he's pulling America's head out of the sand and facing the reality that we have not been kept very safe by current immigration and refugee policies."[42]

Environment and energy

Cramer rejects the scientific consensus on climate change.[43][44] He has said that he would support a small carbon tax if the revenue went to research and development on clean fuel.[43][44][45] Cramer has been described by Reuters as "one of America's most ardent drilling advocates."[46] Cramer supports an increase in oil and gas drilling on public lands and supports cutting taxes for energy producers. He is opposed to what he characterizes as overreach by the United States Environmental Protection Agency.[47] In May 2016, Donald Trump asked Cramer to draft his campaign's energy policy.[46] Cramer wrote Trump's energy plan, which focuses heavily on promoting fossil fuels and weakening environmental regulation. The plan also vows to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement and repeal U.S. regulations aims at controlling the carbon emissions which cause climate change.[48] Cramer was "one of a handful of early Trump endorsers" among U.S. House Republicans.[49]

Gun policy

Cramer said that gun control would not have prevented the Orlando nightclub shooting.[50] In 2016, he criticized proposed gun control legislation, saying "The problem isn't the U.S. Constitution. The problem is Islamic terrorism."[51]

Other

In 2013, at a forum on the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA), Cramer engaged in "a testy exchange with Native American victim assistance leaders."[52][53] Cramer later issued a statement apologizing for his "tone and rhetoric" during the exchange.[52] Cramer voted to reauthorize the VAWA,[54] but opposed language in the act that would allow tribal courts to prosecute non-Natives "for abusing or assaulting Native American women on Indian land."[55] Cramer stated "How could a non-Native man get a fair trial on a reservation?"[55] and questioned the constitutionality of the provision. He voted for an amendment to repeal the provision in question.[54]

In February 2017, during President Trump's first address to a joint session of Congress, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and a number of other female Democratic members of Congress wore white in protest against Trump. Cramer mocked the clothing protest, saying the Congresswomen dressed "poorly" and remarking, "It is a syndrome. There is no question, there is a disease associated with the notion that a bunch of women would wear bad-looking white pantsuits in solidarity with Hillary Clinton to celebrate her loss. You cannot get that weird."[56]

Cramer supports cuts in Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (formerly the Food Stamp Program), and attracted controversy in 2013 when he cited a biblical quotation several times in support of Republicans' efforts to cut some $40 billion from the program over a ten-year period.[57][58]

Personal life

He is married to Kris, and has five children,[59] and four grandchildren.[60]

References

  1. ^ "Meet Kevin". Web.archive.org. Archived from the original on 2012-07-23. Retrieved 2018-02-09. 
  2. ^ "ND At-Large Race - Nov 05, 1996". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2017-01-08. 
  3. ^ "ND At-Large Race - Nov 03, 1998". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2017-01-08. 
  4. ^ Ifill, Gwen. "North Dakota, At-Large House District - NationalJournal.com". Web.archive.org. Archived from the original on 2012-11-07. Retrieved 2018-02-09. 
  5. ^ "ND Public Service Commissioner Race - Nov 02, 2004". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2017-01-08. 
  6. ^ "Wayback Machine". 13 July 2011. Archived from the original on 2011-07-13. Retrieved 11 January 2018. 
  7. ^ [1][dead link]
  8. ^ "Daily News - Health, Money, Social Security, Medicare, Politics - Bulletin Today". Bulletin.aarp.org. 2017-01-04. Retrieved 2017-01-08. 
  9. ^ "Kevin Cramer for North Dakota Public Service Commission (ndpsc) Re Election Campaign 2010 NDGOP Republican (kevincramer.org)". Web.archive.org. Archived from the original on 2010-10-29. Retrieved 2018-02-09. 
  10. ^ "ND Public Service Commissioner Race - Nov 02, 2010". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2017-01-08. 
  11. ^ Shira T. Center, North Dakota: Rick Berg Backs Brian Kalk for His House Seat, Roll Call (June 5, 2012).
  12. ^ Official Results Primary Election - June 12, 2012, North Dakota Secretary of State.
  13. ^ Official Results General Election - November 6, 2012, North Dakota Secretary of State.
  14. ^ Nick Smith, Heidi Heitkamp, Kevin Cramer sworn into office, Bismarck Tribune (January 3, 2013).
  15. ^ Official Results Primary Election - June 10, 2014, North Dakota Secretary of State.
  16. ^ Official Results General Election - November 4, 2014, North Dakota Secretary of State.
  17. ^ Official Results Primary Election - June 14, 2016, North Dakota Secretary of State.
  18. ^ Mark Trahant, Chase Iron Eyes Runs In North Dakota Out of 'Necessity', Indian Country Today Media Network (April 3, 2016).
  19. ^ Miyoshi, Sheila (2018-01-11). "Cramer won't run for Senate in North Dakota". Politico. Retrieved 2018-02-09. 
  20. ^ Hageman, John (2018-01-15). "Cramer names campaign manager for re-election bid". Grand Forks Herald. Retrieved 2018-02-09. 
  21. ^ Taylor, Jessica (February 15, 2018). "GOP Gets Top Recruit To Run In Key North Dakota Senate Race". NPR. Retrieved 15 February 2018. 
  22. ^ JACK DURA Bismarck Tribune (2018-03-22). "Finken leading Cramer campaign | Government, Politics and Elections". bismarcktribune.com. Retrieved 2018-06-21. 
  23. ^ "Rep. Kevin Cramer accepts GOP endorsement". Kfyrtv.com. 2018-04-07. Retrieved 2018-06-21. 
  24. ^ https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2018/apr/10/kevin-cramer-senate-campaign-raises-135m-1st-qtr/
  25. ^ a b Sullivan, Sean (2018-06-11). "'It's obscene': GOP candidate seethes as Trump embraces Democratic senator". Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved 2018-06-12. 
  26. ^ Isenstadt, Alex (June 15, 2018). "Trump to campaign in N. Dakota for Rep. Kevin Cramer". Politico. Retrieved 21 June 2018. 
  27. ^ Press, Associated. "Republican U.S. Rep. Kevin Cramer wins North Dakota Senate primary, moves on to face incumbent Sen. Heidi Heitkamp". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2018-06-21. 
  28. ^ "Committees and Caucuses". Congressman Kevin Cramer. 2012-12-13. Retrieved 2016-06-01. 
  29. ^ "Members". Congressional NextGen 9-1-1 Caucus. Retrieved 11 June 2018. 
  30. ^ Kevin Cramer: North Dakota women not profitable for Planned Parenthood (video of statement on U.S. House of Representatives floor, made available by Getty Images).
  31. ^ Cramer Statement on Planned Parenthood Abortion Practices (press release), Office of U.S. Representative (July 16, 2015).
  32. ^ a b Amanda Terkel, Kevin Cramer, North Dakota Congressman, Ties School Shootings to Abortion Legalization, The Huffington Post (May 16, 2013).
  33. ^ Natasha Burton, Another Day, Another Crazy Abortion Claim from a Conservative Male Politician, Cosmopolitan (May 17, 2013).
  34. ^ US Rep. Cramer Criticized For Linking Legalized Abortion To School Shootings, Associated Press (May 21, 2013).
  35. ^ a b c d e f CNN, Andrew Kaczynski,. "GOP Senate nominees Kevin Cramer, Corey Stewart sought support of extreme anti-gay group". CNN. Retrieved 2018-06-14. 
  36. ^ Krista Boehm, The first same-sex couple to grab their marriage license, KVLY-TV (June 26, 2015).
  37. ^ Cramer Statement on Supreme Court Same Sex Marriage Ruling (press release), Office of U.S. Representative Kevin Cramer (June 26, 2015).
  38. ^ Nick Smith, N.D. delegation split on gay marriage, Bismarck Tribune (June 26, 2013).
  39. ^ John Hageman, State leaders have mixed feelings in Affordable Care Act ruling, Grand Fords Herald (June 25, 2015).
  40. ^ U.S. House Votes to Repeal Obamacare (press release), Office of U.S. Representative Kevin Cramer (February 3, 2015).
  41. ^ Cramer - House Passes Death Tax Repeal Act of 2015 (press release), Office of U.S. Representative Kevin Cramer (April 16, 2015).
  42. ^ Blake, Aaron (January 31, 2017). "Whip Count: Here's where Republicans stand on Trump's controversial travel ban". Washington Post. 
  43. ^ a b Ben Schreckinger, Trump acknowledges climate change — at his golf course, Politico (May 23, 2016).
  44. ^ a b Ashley Park & Coral Davenport, New York Times: What Are Donald Trump's Views on Climate Change? Some Clues Emerge, New York Times (May 26, 2016).
  45. ^ Evan Lehmann, Meet Donald Trump's New Energy Adviser: Kevin Cramer calls himself a climate-change skeptic yet he might support a carbon tax, ClimateWire (republished by Scientific American) (May 13, 2016).
  46. ^ a b Valerie Volcovici, Trump taps climate change skeptic, fracking advocate as key energy advisor, Reuters (May 13, 2016).
  47. ^ Mark Drajem, Get your energy policy ideas to Kevin Cramer ASAP[permanent dead link], Bloomberg Government (May 16, 2016).
  48. ^ Ashley Parker & Coral Davenport, Donald Trump's Energy Plan: More Fossil Fuels and Fewer Rules, (May 26, 2016).
  49. ^ Mike DeBonis, Paul Ryan faces intense pressure to reconcile with Donald Trump, The Washington Post (May 11, 2016).
  50. ^ Ted Fioraliso, Cramer says increased gun control wouldn't have prevented Orlando shooting, KFYR-TV (July 14, 2016).
  51. ^ Nick Smith, Hoeven, Cramer give gun legislation cool response, Bismarck Tribune (June 21, 2016).
  52. ^ a b Luke Johnson, "Kevin Cramer, North Dakota Congressman, Regrets Berating Native American Counselors", Huffington Post (March 28, 2013).
  53. ^ Vincent Schilling, North Dakota Congressman Kevin Cramer Allegedly Verbally Attacks Abused Native Women's Advocate, Indian Country Today Media Network (April 1, 2013).
  54. ^ a b Congressman Kevin Cramer (R-ND) Votes to Eliminate Constitutional Challenges to the Violence Against Women Act (press release), Office of U.S. Representative Kevin Cramer (February 28, 2013).
  55. ^ a b Sierra Crane-Murdoch, Is the Violence Against Women Act a chance for tribes to reinforce their sovereignty?, High Country Today (June 12, 2013).
  56. ^ "GOP lawmaker: 'Poorly dressed' Democratic women wore 'bad-looking white pantsuits'". POLITICO. Retrieved 2017-03-01. 
  57. ^ Igor Bobic, GOP Rep. Quotes Bible On Food Stamps: 'If Anyone Is Not Willing To Work, Let Him Not Eat', TalkingPointsMemo (September 20, 2013).
  58. ^ Rep. Cramer's opponents use Bible verses to debate food stamp cuts, look toward 2014 election, Grand Forks Herald (September 25, 2013).
  59. ^ "NDDOT - nd511". Pc6.psc.state.nd.us. Retrieved 2017-01-08. 
  60. ^ "Cramer to stay in Bismarck with family | Government, Politics and Elections". bismarcktribune.com. 2018-02-27. Retrieved 2018-06-21. 

External links

Political offices
Preceded by
Leo Reinbold
Member of the North Dakota Public Service Commission
2003–2012
Succeeded by
Julie Fedorchak
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Rick Berg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from North Dakota's at-large congressional district

2013–present
Incumbent
Party political offices
Preceded by
Rick Berg
Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from North Dakota
(Class 1)

2018
Most recent
Current U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Paul Cook
R-California
United States Representatives by seniority
259th
Succeeded by
Rodney Davis
R-Illinois
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