Earl Pomeroy

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For the American historian, see Earl S. Pomeroy.
Earl Pomeroy
Earl Pomeroy 111th congressional portrait.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from North Dakota's At-large district
In office
January 3, 1993 – January 3, 2011
Preceded by Byron Dorgan
Succeeded by Rick Berg
Insurance Commissioner of North Dakota
In office
January 1, 1985 – December 15, 1992
Governor George Sinner
Preceded by Jorris Wigen
Succeeded by Glenn Pomeroy
Member of the North Dakota House of Representatives
In office
Personal details
Born (1952-09-02) September 2, 1952 (age 64)
Valley City, North Dakota, U.S.
Political party North Dakota Democratic-NPL Party
Spouse(s) Mary Berglund
Children Kathryn
Alma mater Valley City State University
University of North Dakota
Religion Presbyterianism

Earl Pomeroy (born September 2, 1952) is an American politician who served as the U.S. Representative for North Dakota's at-large congressional district from 1993 to 2011. He is a member of the North Dakota Democratic-NPL Party. He currently works for the health care lobbying division of Alston & Bird.[1]

Early life, education and career[edit]

Pomeroy was born in Valley City in Barnes County in eastern North Dakota. He attended Valley City State University where he was initiated as a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon Fraternity and later transferred to the University of North Dakota at Grand Forks, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and went on to do graduate research in legal history at Durham University in England. Pomeroy returned to North Dakota to attend the University of North Dakota School of Law, having received his Juris Doctor law degree in 1979.

State government[edit]

Pomeroy was elected to the North Dakota House of Representatives in 1980, and became North Dakota Insurance Commissioner in 1985, a post that he held until 1992.

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Committee assignments[edit]

Caucuses and coalitions[edit]

  • Co-Chair of the bipartisan Rural Health Care Coalition

Pomeroy was a member of the Blue Dog Coalition.[2]

Political positions[edit]

Iraq War[edit]

Although he supported authorizing force in Iraq in 2002, he has increasingly spoken out against the war.[3] Earl Pomeroy supported the House resolution opposing George W. Bush's troop surge plan in February 2007. He said in a floor speech,[4] "We take care of our soldiers over [in Iraq] by making sure their deployments are only for acceptable periods and at acceptable intervals, with enough time at home in between to heal, to rest, and to train. But beyond these things, we take care of our soldiers over there when we as a Congress make certain the mission they have sent to perform has a reasonable chance of success.

"In a war where so many tragic mistakes have been made, this Congress must not sit quietly by while additional plans are cooked up in Washington whose only certainty is to accelerate the loss of American lives, compound the already severe strain on our military capabilities, and accelerate the burn rate of American dollars spent in Iraq. ... Without the commitment between the warring parties in Iraq to stop the killing, and create a political agreement upon which a national government can exist, 20,000 more U.S. soldiers are not likely to bring about a lasting peace."

Health care[edit]

Pomeroy voted for the Affordable Health Care for America Act in November 2009, stating that the bill was far from perfect, "but so is our present system."[5]

Adoption tax credit[edit]

Pomeroy strongly supported legislation allowing parents to deduct adoption expenses they incurred. On the day of the vote, Pomeroy brought his daughter whom he and his wife had adopted from South Korea, onto the House floor.[6]

Political campaigns[edit]

Pomeroy was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1992. Until recently, he did not gain the victory margins scored by North Dakota's two Democratic Senators, Kent Conrad and Byron Dorgan. Until 2004, he never won more than 57 percent of the vote. However, in 2004 he was reelected with almost 60 percent.


Pomeroy faced Republican Matthew Mechtel in the 2006 general election, easily winning re-election to his eighth term. He received a larger percentage of votes (65.68%) than in his previous elections.


In 2008, Pomeroy easily retained his seat in the House of Representatives beating Republican Duane Sand.[7]


Pomeroy was defeated by Republican nominee State Representative Rick Berg.[8] This marks the first time in 30 years that this seat has been held by a Republican. It has been argued that Pomeroy's "vote for the health care bill may have cost him his seat in Congress."[9]

Post-Congressional career[edit]

"[O]n the last day of Pomeroy's 18-year stint as North Dakota's at-large congressman, K Street firm Alston & Bird announced that he was joining the firm's health care lobbying division."[9] Pomeroy joined former Senate Majority Leader and presidential candidate Bob Dole at Alston & Bird.[9]

Personal life[edit]

Pomeroy lives in Mandan, North Dakota; he has two children, Kathryn and Scott. On July 2, 2009, Pomeroy married Mary Berglund in a private ceremony at the site of his family's homestead in Valley City, North Dakota.

Earl was a stand out rugby player at UND in the 1970s.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Carney, Timothy P. (2011-01-09). "Lawmakers start cashing in on health care 'reform'". WashingtonExaminer.com. Retrieved 2014-04-26. 
  2. ^ "Blue Dog Coalition". House.gov. 2009-04-27. Retrieved 2010-07-12. 
  3. ^ "Pomeroy opposes troop buildup." Mary Claire Jalonick. Associated Press. 2/15/07.
  4. ^ C-SPAN Iraq War Debate Archived February 16, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
  5. ^ "Pomeroy votes for health care bill | KXNet.com North Dakota News". Kxnet.com. Retrieved 2010-07-12. 
  6. ^ Barone, Michael; Ujifusa, Grant (1999). The Almanac of American Politics 2000. National Journal Group Inc. p. 1234. 
  7. ^ Hoeven, Pomeroy enjoy widespread support, KXMC CBS13. Retrieved 20 Nov '08.
  8. ^ "GOP's Berg beats Dem Pomeroy for ND US House seat". The Washington Post. November 2, 2010. 
  9. ^ a b c Carney, Timothy (2011-01-09) Lawmakers start cashing in on health care 'reform', Washington Examiner

External links[edit]

Political offices
Preceded by
Jorris Wigen
Insurance Commissioner of North Dakota
Succeeded by
Glenn Pomeroy
United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Byron Dorgan
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from North Dakota's At-large congressional district

Succeeded by
Rick Berg