PRESS RELEASE from Obama for America

February 02, 2008

Twenty-Nine North Dakota Legislators Back Senator Obama

Obama picks up 20 endorsements this week from ND legislators, 10 in each chamber

Bismarck, ND - The Obama campaign announced today that a majority of Democrats from both houses of the North Dakota legislature have endorsed Barack Obama. This announcement comes just days before the February 5 Caucus in North Dakota.

The new endorsements came overwhelmingly from legislators who had previously supported Senator Edwards. A majority of Edwards' supporters who serve in the legislature are now supporting Barack Obama.

Senate endorsers include Senate Democratic Leader David O'Connell of Lansford and Sen. Richard Marcellais of Belcourt, a member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians. House endorsers include Rep. Jasper Schneider of Fargo, a Democratic candidate for North Dakota Insurance Commissioner. All three were active in Edwards' campaign.

"I am extremely impressed with the Obama campaign's commitment to North Dakota," Senator David O'Connell said. "Their outreach effort in the state is unprecedented. The Obama campaign is a volunteer-driven organization, and they have put tremendous resources into our state. Obama's success here demonstrates his crossover appeal to Republicans and independents. In his 20-years in public service, he has brought members of all parties and all ideologies together to get things done. That's how we've always tackled problems in the heartland, and that's how Barack Obama will confront the challenges we face as President."

Ten legislators from each chamber announced their endorsement of Senator Obama this week, bringing the total number to 17 in the House and 12 in the Senate.

The Obama campaign has legislative supporters in every corner of the state. Much of his support in the legislature comes from rural areas, including towns like Hankinson, Regent, Ray, and Larimore. Obama last month drew the endorsement of North Dakota Democratic-NPL State Party Vice-Chair Mary Wakefield, Director of the Center for Rural Health at UND. Former North Dakota Agriculture Commissioner Sarah Vogel announced her endorsement this week.

Senator Obama holds endorsements from eight of the ten Fargo Democratic legislators, and enjoys strong support from elected officials in Grand Forks, Minot, Bismarck, and Jamestown. Barack Obama is the candidate that generates the broadest support in rural communities as was demonstrated in Iowa, South Carolina, and Nevada.

Obama for America is the only campaign with offices in the state. Since opening the first North Dakota office in November, the campaign has developed a strong field organization. The campaign now has 4 offices across North Dakota - Fargo, Grand Forks, Bismarck, and Minot - to reach out to voters in every corner of the state. Obama volunteers have made thousands of phone calls, building a field organization town by town to get-out-the-caucus on February 5.

U.S. Congressman Earl Pomeroy endorsed Barack Obama on Thursday. Pomeroy noted in a statement that, "Senator Obama reflects the values of the heartland and has the unique ability to bring people of all ideologies and parties together to make progress." Senator Kent Conrad endorsed in December, and is currently featured in an Obama television ad that continues to run statewide.

Senate Endorsements:
Sen. Minority Leader David O'Connell - Lansford
Sen. Art Behm - Niagara
Sen. Tom Fiebiger - Fargo
Sen. Joan Heckaman - New Rockford
Sen. Joel Heitkamp - Hankinson
Sen. Aaron Krauter - Regent
Sen. Richard Marcellais - Belcourt
Sen. Carolyn Nelson Fargo
Sen. Jim Pomeroy - Fargo
Sen. Tracy Potter Bismarck
Sen. Ryan Taylor - Towner
Sen. John Warner - Ryder

House Endorsements:
Rep. Tracy Boe - Milo
Rep. Mary Ekstrom - Fargo
Rep. Rod Froelich - Selfridge
Rep. Eliot Glassheim - Grand Forks
Rep. Chris Griffin - Larimore
Rep. Ed Gruchalla - Fargo
Rep. Pam Gulleson - Rutland
Rep. Lyle Hanson - Jamestown
Rep. Scot Kelsh Fargo
Rep. Joe Kroeber - Jamestown
Rep. Ralph Metcalf - Valley City
Rep. Louis Pinkerton - Minot
Rep. Arlo Schmidt - Maddock
Rep. Jasper Schneider - Fargo
Rep. Dorvan Solberg - Ray
Rep. Lisa Wolf - Minot
Rep. Steve Zaiser - Fargo