Unusual number of delegates flock to GOP convention

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WDAY: GRAND FORKS—The state and the nation has their eyes on the U.S. senate race in North Dakota between Kevin Cramer and Heidi Heitkamp.

It’s the talk of the GOP convention, happening this weekend in Grand Forks.

A decorated Grand Forks means one thing.

Election season, as the GOP convention gets underway delegates are checking in this weekend at the Alerus Center.

Mel Beckler has been attending the convention for over 4 decades.

“This is my 24th, so every two years since 1972,” said Beckler.

He’s one of over 1500 delegates.

An unusually high number for a non-presidential year.

“People are enthused about the candidates, and what is going on in the country today,” said Beckler.

Those within the GOP attribute this foot traffic for two races, the house of representatives, and the senate race.

Five Candidates will run in the house race.

Tom Campbell insists he is still confident he has a chance against GOP favorite Kelly Armstrong.

Campbell stepped down months ago from the Senate Race to make way for Kevin Cramer’s run against incumbent Heidi Heitkamp.

“I’d like to think it’s going to be easy. But I don’t believe it will,” said Representative Cramer.

Cramer admits his race will be an upward battle, one he says he’s ready to put the resources in.

“In today’s data driven people campaign, you try to identify those individuals that believe what you believe, but may not be persuaded yet,” said Cramer.

A weekend in Grand Forks, deciding who will move forward, and who will be left behind.

The Gop has its fingers crossed for a win in both the house and senate.

The convention continues Saturday with the main events, including the keynote speech.

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