Rick Berg

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Rick Berg
Rick Berg, official portrait, 112th Congress.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from North Dakota's At-large district
In office
January 3, 2011 – January 3, 2013
Preceded by Earl Pomeroy
Succeeded by Kevin Cramer
Majority Leader of the North Dakota House of Representatives
In office
January 3, 2003 – January 3, 2009
Preceded by Wesley Belter
Succeeded by Al Carlson
Member of the North Dakota House of Representatives
from the 45th district
In office
January 3, 1985 – January 3, 2011
Preceded by ???
Succeeded by Joe Heilman
Personal details
Born Richard Alan Berg
(1959-08-16) August 16, 1959 (age 56)
Hettinger, North Dakota, U.S.
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Tracy Martin
Alma mater North Dakota State College of Science
North Dakota State University

Richard Alan "Rick" Berg (born August 16, 1959) is an American politician who served as the U.S. Representative for North Dakota's at-large congressional district from 2011 to 2013.[1] Berg served on the House Ways and Means Committee.[2] He is a member of the Republican Party. Before his election to Congress in 2010, he served in the state House of Representatives, with stints as Majority Leader and Speaker. On May 16, 2011, Berg announced his run for the United States Senate seat being vacated by Democratic incumbent Kent Conrad but lost narrowly to Heidi Heitkamp on November 6, 2012.

Early life, education, and business career[edit]

Berg was born in Maddock and raised on a farm in Hettinger. His father was a large animal veterinarian and his mother was a writer.[3] His grandfather immigrated to the United States from Norway.[4]

Berg graduated from Hettinger High School. He earned a wrestling scholarship to the North Dakota State College of Science.[5] He attended for a year before transferring to North Dakota State University, where he graduated with a B.A. in Agricultural Economics.

In 1982, after college he co-founded Midwest Management Company (which became Goldmark Property Management in 1994), a real-estate management firm in Fargo. In 1987 he moved on to an affiliate commercial real estate company spun off from Midwest. In 1996 along with other early partners in Midwest he founded Goldmark Commercial Corporation which has since been renamed to Goldmark Schlossman Commercial Real Estate.[6][7][8]

Berg was the 13th wealthiest member of Congress.[9]

North Dakota House of Representatives[edit]


Berg first ran for the North Dakota House of Representatives in 1984 in the 10th House District, based in Fargo. He won and was re-elected every four years after, until his congressional run in 2010.

In 2002, after redistricting, he decided to run in the newly redrawn 45th House District, and won a seat with 31%.[10] In 2006, he won re-election with 28%.[11]


In 1991, he became the Chairman of the House Republican caucus. In 1993, he briefly served as Speaker of the House. In 2003, he became the House Majority Leader.

As Speaker, he proposed a controversial new education funding system aimed at making payments more equitable.[12]

Berg supported President George W. Bush's plan to partially privatize Social Security through private accounts in 2005. [13]

In 2009, he earned the Petroleum Council’s Legislator of the Year and the North Dakota Chamber of Commerce's Greater North Dakotan award.[14]

Committee assignments[edit]

61st Assembly (2009)
  • Appropriations
  • Budget Section
  • Industry, Business, and Labor
  • Legislative Audit and Fiscal Review
  • Water-Related Topics[15]
60th Assembly (2007)
  • Budget Section
  • Committees (Chairman)
  • Delayed Bills (Chairman)[16]
  • Economic Development (Chairman)
  • Legislative Council
  • Legislative Management[17]
59th Assembly (2005)
  • Budget Section
  • Committees (Chairman)
  • Delayed Bills (Chairman)[16]
  • Economic Development (Chairman)
  • Legislative Management
  • Tribal and State Relations[18]
58th Assembly (2003)
  • Budget Section
  • Committees (Chairman)
  • Delayed Bills (Chairman)[19]
  • Economic Development (Chairman)
  • Legislative Management
  • Rules[20]
57th Assembly (2001)
  • Agriculture
  • Budget Committee on Health Care
  • Commerce
  • Industry, Business, and Labor (Chairman)
  • Regulatory Reform Review[21]
56th Assembly (1999)
  • Agriculture
  • Commerce and Labor
  • Industry, Business, and Labor (Chairman)
  • Legislative Management[22]
55th Assembly (1997)
  • Budget
  • Education Finance[23]
  • Industry, Business, and Labor (Chairman)[24]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

2010 election[edit]

On January 20, 2010 Berg officially announced he was seeking the GOP endorsement to run for the United States House of Representatives.[25][26] In March 2010, Berg won the GOP nomination at the Republican state convention to challenge incumbent Democratic Representative Earl Pomeroy for the state's at-large seat in the United States House of Representatives.[27] In the general election Berg defeated the incumbent with 55% of the vote to represent North Dakota's at-large congressional district.

Berg's biggest donor during the campaign was Goldmark Property Management, Inc.[28] As of 2011, Berg worked at Goldmark since 1981 and was promoted to Senior Vice President of Goldmark Schlossman Commercial Real Estate Services in 2005.[29]


Berg voted for the Paul Ryan budget, which would restructure Medicare and Medicaid.[30]

Berg strongly supports a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution.[31]

He voted in favor of the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act and has received "A" and "A+" ratings from the National Rifle Association Political Victory Fund for his stance on gun rights.[32][33]

Berg joined almost 60 other members of Congress in a letter to the Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction that urged committee members not to cut the critical access hospital (CAH) program. The CAH program provides assistance to rural hospitals. 36 CAHs exist in North Dakota, including one in Hettinger, Berg's hometown.[34]

Berg has voted to curtail EPA regulations, stating: "In North Dakota, we know the damaging effects that overreaching government regulations can have on our small businesses and their ability to create jobs."[35] He has also proposed drilling for oil in federal lands, including North Dakota's own Theodore Roosevelt National Park, as a way to provide funding for Social Security.[36] In 2009, he was presented with the Greater North Dakotan Award by the North Dakota Chamber of Commerce for his support of business interests.[37]

Berg is pro-life and has voted to prohibit federal funds from being used for health care plans that cover abortions.[38] He is a member of the Congressional Prayer Caucus.[39]

Berg is against same-sex marriage.[40]

In 2007 Berg voted on ND House Bill 1489, which proposed making abortion a class AA felony, even in the case of rape and incest. [41]

Berg talking with U.S. Army Corps of Engineers official Roland Hamborg during the 2011 Souris River flood

Committee assignments[edit]

Berg was a member of the U.S. House Ways & Means Committee.

Caucus Memberships[42]
  • Congressional Western Caucus
  • Unmanned Systems Caucus
  • General Aviation Caucus
  • Coal Caucus
  • Friends of Norway Caucus
  • Job Creators Caucus
  • E-911 Caucus
  • National Archives Caucus
  • Rural Health Care Coalition
  • Sportsman Caucus
  • Sugar Caucus
  • Congressional Prayer Caucus
  • House National Guard and Reserve Caucus
Berg, at a parade in West Fargo.

2012 U.S. Senate election[edit]

On May 16, 2011, Berg announced that he would run for the United States Senate seat being vacated by Democratic incumbent Kent Conrad.[43]

Election night results indicated that Berg had lost to former state Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp by 2,936 votes. As the difference was less than 1% of the ballots cast, Berg declined to concede straight away. The next day, however, Berg acknowledged his Democratic opponent's victory.[44]


  1. ^ Wetzel, Dale (November 2, 2010). "GOP's Berg beats Dem Pomeroy for ND US House seat". The Washington Post. 
  2. ^ "Statement on Latest Unemployment Report". 4 November 2011. 
  3. ^ http://www.nationaljournal.com/almanac/person/rick-berg-nd/
  4. ^ http://www.bergfornorthdakota.com/view/other/home-news/45-facts/
  5. ^ "Biography". 
  6. ^ Smith, Nick. "Berg sees Senate as key to country's turnaround". TheBismarck Tribune. Retrieved 24 October 2012. 
  7. ^ Nowatzki, Mike. "Passion for business drives Berg". INFORUM. Retrieved 24 October 2012. 
  8. ^ "Election 2012". AP Election Guide. NPR. Retrieved 24 October 2012. 
  9. ^ [1]
  10. ^ "ND State House 45 Race – Nov 05, 2002". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2012-05-23. 
  11. ^ "ND State House 45 Race – Nov 07, 2006". Our Campaigns. Retrieved 2012-05-23. 
  12. ^ . 1993-03-10 http://nl.newsbank.com/nl-search/we/Archives?p_product=GF&s_site=grandforks&p_multi=GF&p_theme=realcities&p_action=search&p_maxdocs=200&p_topdoc=1&p_text_direct-0=0EB6E9BC656A5AC2&p_field_direct-0=document_id&p_perpage=10&p_sort=YMD_date:D&s_trackval=GooglePM.  Missing or empty |title= (help)
  13. ^ "HCR 3056 Roll Call" (PDF). 
  14. ^ "Congressman Rick Berg : Biography". Berg.house.gov. 2012-05-17. Retrieved 2012-05-23. 
  15. ^ "Representative Rick Berg: District 45 Fargo". Legis.nd.gov. Retrieved 2012-05-23. 
  16. ^ a b [2][dead link]
  17. ^ "Representative Rick Berg: District 45 Fargo". Legis.nd.gov. Retrieved 2012-05-23. 
  18. ^ "Representative Rick Berg: District 45 Fargo". Legis.nd.gov. Retrieved 2012-05-23. 
  19. ^ "North Dakota Legislative Branch". Legis.nd.gov. Retrieved 2012-05-23. 
  20. ^ "Representative Rick Berg: District 45 Fargo". Legis.nd.gov. Retrieved 2012-05-23. 
  21. ^ "Representative Rick Berg: District 45 Fargo". Legis.nd.gov. Retrieved 2012-05-23. 
  22. ^ "Representative Rick Berg: District 45 Fargo". Legis.nd.gov. Retrieved 2012-05-23. 
  23. ^ "North Dakota Legislative Council Interim Committees(1997-1998 Interim)". Legis.nd.gov. Retrieved 2012-05-23. 
  24. ^ Wilson, Reid. "Rick Berg (R-N.D.)". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2012-05-23. 
  25. ^ Berg Announces. KXMBTV Bismarck. 19 January 2010.
  26. ^ Berg to begin campaign for US House. WDAY News. 16 January 2010.
  27. ^ Cadei, Emily. North Dakota: Berg To Face Pomeroy in November. CQ Politics. 20 March 2010.
  28. ^ "Rick Berg Campaign Finances". 
  29. ^ "Agent Profile: Rick Berg, CCIM". Archived from the original on 23 July 2008. Retrieved 20 November 2011. 
  30. ^ "House Vote 277 – Passes Ryan Budget Bill". The New York Times. Retrieved 14 August 2012. 
  31. ^ Rick Berg (10 November 2011). "The Time for a Balanced Budget Amendment is Now". 
  32. ^ "HR 822 Voting Record". 16 November 2011. 
  33. ^ "Ratings and Endorsements". 
  34. ^ "Berg Fights to Protect Rural Hospitals". 7 November 2011. 
  35. ^ Rick Berg (13 November 2011). "Berg Fights for Regulatory Relief from EPA Overreach". 
  36. ^ Darren Goode (10 September 2010). "GOP Candidate Suggests Drilling for Oil in Teddy Roosevelt National Park". 
  37. ^ Rick Berg. "About Rick". 
  38. ^ "HR 358 Voting Record". 13 October 2011. 
  39. ^ "Committees and Caucuses". 
  40. ^ http://kfyrtv.com/News_Stories.asp?news=57069
  41. ^ http://legis.nd.gov/assembly/60-2007/bill-text/HBBD0300.pdf
  42. ^ "Congressman Rick Berg : Committees & Caucuses". Berg.house.gov. 2012-05-17. Retrieved 2012-05-23. 
  43. ^ Toeplitz, Shira House Freshman Berg Will Run for Senate in North Dakota Roll Call, 2011-05-16.
  44. ^ Democrat Heidi Heitkamp defeats Republican Rick Berg to win US Senate race in North Dakota Associated Press November 7, 2012

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Earl Pomeroy
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from North Dakota's At-large congressional district

Succeeded by
Kevin Cramer
Party political offices
Preceded by
Dwight Grotberg
Republican nominee for U.S. Senator from North Dakota
(Class 1)

Most recent