ENG: 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. Berg served on the House Ways and Means Committee. 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
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. His grandfather immigrated to the United States from Norway.
Berg graduated from Hettinger High School. He earned a wrestling scholarship to the North Dakota State School of Science. 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.
Rick Berg was the 13th wealthiest member of Congress.
North Dakota House of Representatives - Elections
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%. In 2006, he won re-election with 28%.
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.
Berg supported President George W. Bush's plan to partially privatize Social Security through private accounts in 2005.
In 2009, he earned the Petroleum Council’s Legislator of the Year and the North Dakota Chamber of Commerce's Greater North Dakotan award.
U.S. House of Representatives - 2010 election
On January 20, 2010 Berg officially announced he was seeking the GOP endorsement to run for the United States House of Representatives. 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. 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.
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.
Berg voted for the Paul Ryan budget, which would restructure Medicare and Medicaid.
Berg strongly supports a balanced-budget amendment to the Constitution.
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.
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.
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." 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. In 2009, he was presented with the Greater North Dakotan Award by the North Dakota Chamber of Commerce for his support of business interests.
Berg is pro-life and has voted to prohibit federal funds from being used for health care plans that cover abortions. He is a member of the Congressional Prayer Caucus.
Berg is against same-sex marriage.
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.
2012 U.S. Senate election
On May 16, 2011, Berg announced that he would run for the United States Senate seat being vacated by Democratic incumbent Kent Conrad.
Election night results indicated that Berg had lost to former state Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp by 2,994 votes. As the difference was less than 1% of the ballots cast, Berg declined to immediately concede. The next day, however, Berg acknowledged his Democratic opponent's victory.
Fabruary 5, 2013