WDAY: The News Leader

Published May 17, 2011, 01:44 PM

Berg says Democratic Senate roadblock to change

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota Republican U.S. Rep. Rick Berg says he's running for the Senate because Democratic Senate leaders are a "roadblock" to change.

Berg is making stops in Fargo, Bismarck and Minot on Tuesday to begin his Senate campaign.

Berg and Republican Public Service Commissioner Brian Kalk are the only declared candidates for the race. They're competing to succeed Democrat Kent Conrad, who is not running for re-election.

Berg has only been a congressman for five months. He said once he got to Washington, he saw firsthand that Senate Democrats are holding up attempts to restrain federal spending and promote job growth.

Democratic chairman Mark Schneider says Berg has voted to cut the federal Medicare and Medicaid programs, and he'll have to defend those votes during a campaign.