The Republican party of North Dakota has endorsed John Hoeven for U.S. Senate.

The ND GOP State Convention 2022 was a historic day for North Dakota Republicans.

At 2,321 certified delegates, it was the largest convention in ND GOP history, and it was a nail-biter between incumbent Senator John Hoeven and Bismarck plastic surgeon and businessman Rick Becker.

At the end of the day, Hoeven won the North Dakota GOP’s Convention’s endorsement. Hoeven garnered 1,224 votes over Becker’s 1,037.

Allegations flew from both sides. Topics of contention included pro-life voting and government subsidies for energy industries.

But, perhaps the biggest beef during the race was over Federal crop insurance.

During his convention speech, Senator Hoeven said that his opponent went on record saying he would not vote for Federal crop insurance.

“I would guess maybe it would mess up his ratings or something. But, you know crop insurance is the number on risk management tool that our farmers have. How can you go to Washington D.C. and not support crop insurance? Ask the farmer. Ag is our number one industry and you’ve got to be there for our farmers and ranchers. I am and I always will be! Count on it farmers, count on it ranchers! I will be there in your corner,” said Hoeven.

Becker denied the allegation.

“You’ve heard that I want to abolish crop insurance. That would be similar to abolishing car insurance or house insurance, I have never made such a claim. I am not against the farmer, this is complete political garbage. I believe that the Federal crop insurance, as a Federal program, like every single Federal program out there can be improved and it can be reformed.”

Each candidate worked to one-up on another as the more conservative candidate.

Becker took aim at Hoeven’s vote for President Joe Biden’s historic $1.2 trillion dollar infrastructure bill.

“His vote for Biden’s $1.2 trillion fake infrastructure bill. This was a terrible mistake. This was a terrible mistake. It gave Joe Biden his only political win for the year. And, it contained far more in subsidies for green energy than it did for actual infrastructure, all while contributing to inflation,” said Becker.

Hoeven pointed out that it was his conservative caucus in the Senate that denied Biden from allocating trillions more in Federal spending.

“We were able to kill the $5 trillion Biden Build Back Better bill. In the house it passed. Democrats passed it in the house. In the senate we killed it. We killed that $5 trillion spending spree. We killed it,” said Hoeven.

The results of the vote were arguably extraordinarily close for an incumbent Senator who easily won the Republican convention’s endorsement first as Governor in 2000 and then later as U.S. Senator.

I talked with Rick Becker after the result, and he told me even though he lost the convention endorsement, his growing faction of the party ultimately sent a winning message to the rest of North Dakota Republicans.

“This was actually a victory. I know we didn’t win, but it was a victory because the message was heard, and not only that, the number of people that came out and found a voice for what they were thinking and feeling, where their passions were, they’re motivated now and they’re going to stay motivated. They’re going to represent a new direction for the North Dakota Republican Party,” said Becker.

Becker carried through with his promise that he would follow the decision of the convention. He gave a concession speech, and he will not be running to seek the nomination in the June primary.

Regardless of what Rick Becker does next, he indelibly changed the face of the North Dakota GOP.