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North Dakota Losing Clout with Presidential Candidates

June 25, 2007

It used to be that North Dakota's presidential caucuses were an important early test for national contenders, but next year, big states like California, New York, Illinois, and North Carolina will also vote on the same day. That has local leaders like David Kemnitz of the North Dakota AFL-CIO wondering if local issues will get the attention they deserve.

“Crucial states get the focus, and not necessarily the local issues of North Dakota, South Dakota, or the Midwest.”

Next year's caucuses will be held on February 5. In future election cycles, Kemnitz believes upper-Midwestern states should consider a regional primary, to make candidates focus on concerns of prairie voters. Otherwise, he adds, a lot could get lost in the shuffle,including key labor issues affecting workers in North Dakota.

“Labor has always been for education, for fair wages, for good trade practices, for the economy that works for America and builds the middle class.”

John Robinson/Chris Thomas, Public News Service - ND