Congressman Kevin Cramer has filed a joint fundraising agreement with the Federal Election Commission (FEC). The agreement may give us a clearer picture into his 2018 intentions. Cramer has pushed off any public decision on whether or not he’d take a shot at the U.S. Senate and challenge Heidi Heitkamp. Though this agreement doesn’t necessarily set anything in stone, it indicates he is likely to run for re-election to the U.S. House and forego a challenging Senate race.
The “Cramer Victory Fund” formed on 11/29/17, is a joint fundraising agreement between Congressman Kevin Cramer, Badlands PAC (Cramer’s PAC), the North Dakota Republican Party, and the NRCC (National Republican Congressional Committee). These committees collect contributions, pay fundraising expenses, and disburse net proceeds for two or more political committees or organizations, at least one of which is an authorized committee of a federal candidate. The tell, for me, is the NRCC which is the Republican fundraising arm of the House of Representatives.
If Cramer was running for the Senate, why would he raise money for and with the NRCC and not the National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC)? He doesn’t appear to like fundraising (I don’t blame him) and he doesn’t seem to be very good at it either. His fundraising reports have been less than stellar as an incumbent throughout 2017 which had led many to speculate he had already decided against challenging Heitkamp who has raised millions this year. I’ve written about those quarterly reports on ND xPlains. Cramer maintains he could raise the money if he needed to in a Senate race.
One reason he may be concerned about his Congressional colleagues and not the Senate is the retirements piling up. Perhaps, by agreeing to raise money with the NRCC, Cramer is angling for a leadership role in the House. He has voted lock-step with the current leadership. The only thing is, Cramer would actually need to deliver some funds.