Hoeven, Berg among Forum’s ones to watch in 2011
FARGO – 2011 will be the first time in more than 20 years that North Dakota will have some fresh faces in its congressional delegation, so it only makes sense Rick Berg and John Hoeven will be under North Dakota’s microscope next year.
The Forum’s editors selected Berg and Hoeven as among their “11 to watch in 2011″ series, which is running this week. Read the profile in today’s Forum.
The two Republicans have roughly two months between Election Day and Jan. 5 to get ready for their new positions – which place them as among the most powerful and influential people in American government.
Berg and Hoeven both said they hope to make good on their campaign pledges to create jobs, improve the economy and rein in federal spending, among other priorities.
But preparation also entails a dizzying array of details that keeps the men busy: attending orientation, meeting congressional colleagues, brushing up on legislative issues, organizing offices, hiring staff members, lining up housing – and the list goes on.
As members-elect of the U.S. Congress – where repeated travel is an inherent requirement – Berg and Hoeven also have to figure out when they can spend time with their families once they go off to Washington.
Hoeven said he and his wife, Mikey, have moved out of the governor’s mansion in Bismarck and purchased their own home there, which will serve as the Hoevens’ official residence. but the power couple also will share an apartment in Washington, D.C., since they plan to travel back and forth together.
“I’d miss her too much otherwise,” Hoeven said, with a slight chuckle. “Depending on our schedules, it’ll vary some, but most of the time, we’ll go together.”
Meanwhile, the Bergs will face separation for periods of time. Berg’s wife, Tracy, and their son, Jack, will remain in Fargo, while Berg commutes from Washington. Berg said he’s renting an apartment on his own, but said he’s open to potentially sharing an apartment with other congressmen – a practice for some federal lawmakers.
“I’ve rented an apartment for six months, and I’m just going to try that and see how that works,” he said.
Both Hoeven and Berg will be sworn in during official ceremonies on Jan. 5 at the U.S. Capitol. Berg will face re-election in 2012, while Hoeven will be up for re-election in 2016.
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