WDAY: The News Leader

Published October 12, 2010, 08:34 AM

GOP chairman says ND crucial to national picture

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — The chairman of the Republican National Committee says North Dakota's races for the U.S. Senate and House are important to the party's efforts to regain control of Congress.

Michael Steele made stops in Bismarck and Fargo on Tuesday to speak to GOP activists.

North Dakota Republican Gov. and U.S. Senate candidate John Hoeven is leading Democrat Tracy Potter in a race for the Senate seat now held by retiring Democrat Byron Dorgan. Republican House candidate Rick Berg is locked in a tight race with Democratic Rep. Earl Pomeroy.

Steele says the national GOP has put more than $250,000 into North Dakota's races.

A North Dakota Democratic spokesman says Steele's visit won't have any effect on the elections.