Mind blowing speech by Robert Welch in 1958 predicting Insiders plans to destroy America
"It astonishes me to find... [that so many] of our countrymen... should
be contented to live under a system which leaves to their governors the
power of taking from them the trial by jury in civil cases, freedom of
religion, freedom of the press, freedom of commerce, the habeas corpus
laws, and of yoking them with a standing army. This is a degeneracy in
the principles of liberty... which I [would not have expected for at
least] four centuries." - Thomas Jefferson to William Stephens Smith,
"I know of no safe depository of the ultimate powers of the
society but the people themselves, and if we think them not enlightened
enough to exercise control with a wholesome discretion, the remedy is
not to take it from them, but to inform their discretion by education." -
Thomas Jefferson, letter to William C. Jarvis, September 28, 1820
has never been a golden age of liberty, and there never will be. People
who value freedom will always have to defend it from those who claim
the right to wield power over others." - David Boaz
Finally! The untold facts on all Senate candidates
Here's an in-depth look at 33 seats up for grabs – and who's grabbing
Posted: December 26, 2011
8:12 pm Eastern
By Chelsea Schilling
© 2011 WND
© 2011 WND
Control of the U.S. Senate is now up for grabs in what could be one of the most competitive elections in years – and the struggle for power appears to hinge on 10 hotly contested seats that could go to either party.
Thirty-three U.S. Senate seats are now available for the taking. Democrats have 23 seats up for election, including two independents (Connecticut Sen. Joe Lieberman, who is retiring, and Vermont's Bernie Sanders, who is seeking re-election) who caucus with the Democrats. Of those 23, six are retiring and 17 are seeking re-election.
Republicans have only 10 seats up for election. Two Republicans are retiring, while eight are seeking re-election. To claim a Senate majority, Republicans must gain four seats (or three to tie) in 2012.
According to the Cook Political Report, some of the biggest toss-up Senate seats include New Mexico, Wisconsin, Ohio, Virginia, Montana, Nevada, Missouri, Massachusetts, Nebraska and North Dakota. All are controlled by Democrats, except Massachusetts, where Sen. Scott Brown is struggling to hold his favor with voters against Elizabeth Warren, who is leading in recent polls.
The Cook Political Report also rates 21 races as being to some extent competitive, five more than any of the three preceding elections.
|The Cook Political Report features this race rating projection. The green area represents U.S. Senate seats that could go to any party.|
The following is an in-depth look at all current contenders seeking their party's nomination and, ultimately, election to the Senate in 2012. (Please note that there are four pages to this profile.):
The truth about America, and how Christianity is written on every page of its history, in "America's Christian History"
1) Joe Lieberman, Indep.-Conn. – retiring
Brian K. Hill with U.S. Rep. Allen West, R-Fla.
A lawyer, small-business owner and former Judge Advocate General Corps officer, Brian Hill was honorably discharged from active duty as a major. He was deployed around the world, including numerous times to Kuwait, Egypt and Qatar. Hill has also lived overseas and in eight different states. In the United States, he supported Operation Iraqi and Enduring Freedom in Washington, D.C., Georgia and Virginia.
Hill's degrees include: bachelor of science in political science from Southern Connecticut State University, juris doctor from Howard University School of Law and master of law in military law with a specialty in federal contract law from the Army Judge Advocate General Legal School and Center.
Hill advocates reducing the following: corporate and personal marginal tax rates, the size of federal bureaucracy, complexity of the tax code, federal regulations, the debt and the deficit. He supports increasing fair trade, domestic energy production and legal immigration for highly skilled workers and entrepreneurs.
He proposes eliminating the alternative minimum tax, the federal gas tax, death tax, capital gains tax, food taxes and payroll taxes.
On health care, Hill seeks to eliminate Obamacare, separate health insurance from employment, enact tort reform, promote federal health-savings accounts, impose means testing for all entitlements and eliminate waste and fraud in Medicare and Medicaid programs.
Additionally, he supports school choice, repealing "No Child Left Behind," imposing term limits, killing Cap-and-Trade legislation and developing a domestic energy plan to explore America's own natural resources.
A professional wrestling magnate, Linda McMahon developed World Wresting Entertainment, or WWE, with her husband, Vince McMahon. The largest professional wrestling company in the world, WWE promotes two brands: Raw and SmackDown. She stepped down as chief executive officer of WWE in 2009 and is widely recognized as one of the nation's top business executives.
World Wrestling Entertainment superstars John Morrison and the Miz perform for U.S. troops Dec. 4, 2009, in Iraq.
McMahon said she will soon offer a comprehensive jobs plan that "acknowledges that economic growth is not a government program." She said Obamacare is "a massive new entitlement that America cannot afford" and promised to work to repeal it and replace it with a "market-based proposal that reduces costs to individuals and increases competition." McMahon proposes allowing businesses to "pool risk" and offer insurance to employees at a discounted rate, allowing companies to sell health insurance across state lines and eliminating frivolous lawsuits.
On energy, she supports simplifying and expediting approval for oil and gas projects in the Gulf of Mexico, Alaska and some federal lands.
On education, McMahon supports school choice, online education and homeschooling.
McMahon serves on the boards of Sacred Heart University in Fairfield, Conn., and the Close Up Foundation. In 2009, she was appointed by Gov. M. Jodi Rell to serve on the Connecticut Board of Education.
She graduated from East Carolina University with a bachelor of science degree in French. McMahon won Connecticut Tea Party Patriots' 2012 Senate straw poll in February.
Chris Shays is a former U.S. representative who served Connecticut's 4th district for two decades and a prominent GOP moderate. He lost a re-election bid to Democrat Rep. Jim Himes in 2008.
Shays served as co-chairman of the federal Commission on Wartime Contracting, an independent, bipartisan legislative commission tasked with studying wartime contracting in Iraq and Afghanistan.
Shays has voted with Democrats many times, including casting his vote against all four articles of impeachment for then-President Bill Clinton and against the federal marriage amendment. He also voted for gun control and for overturning the ban on open homosexuals serving in the military.
Shays earned a master of business administration and a master of public administration degree from New York University.
A libertarian and strong supporter of the Second Amendment, Paul Passarelli believes in the "presumptive right of the people to possess all manner of guns, knives, swords, weapons, etc." While he supports what he terms a woman's "right" to have an abortion, he opposes the use of federal funds to pay for the procedure.
Passarelli explains on his campaign website that he believes homosexual marriage must be recognized by the federal government:
"The question of whether gay marriage should be recognized by the federal government in the [legal] aspect is unquestionably yes, subject to all of the same provisions as heterosexual marriage. There was a time when the notion of marriage across religious lines was 'taboo' when marriage across ethnic lines was too [sic]. While some people are still offended when they see a 'mixed' marriage, the law cannot be."
Whenever he votes on a bill, Passarelli promises to issue a summary on his vote and a position paper detailing his thoughts and analysis. He also proposes legislation that would require members of Congress to receive "the same health care as citizens are able to obtain privately and at similar out-of-pocket expense."
Passarelli describes himself as a political outsider, an advocate of American civil liberties and a fiscal conservative.
A former representative and secretary of the state of Connecticut, Democrat Susan Bysiewicz graduated from Yale University and Duke University School of Law.
Bysiewicz implemented Connecticut's CONCORD system, giving the public online access to information about more than 340,000 registered businesses in the state. According to her campaign website, she also completed the Connecticut Voter Registration System to streamline the state's electoral rolls, protect voter rights and prevent voter fraud.
As a U.S. senator, Bysiewicz said she will keep well-paying jobs in her state by rebuilding infrastructure, investing in new industry and cutting taxes for the middle class and small businesses. She promises to push for simplification of the tax code and ensuring small businesses have the resources they need to survive.
On energy, Bysiewicz would support investment in research by universities to develop new technologies to create "green jobs" and foster energy independence. She seeks to expand companies developing solar, wind and biofuel technology. On education, Bysiewicz would seek to increase federal funding for Head Start, Pell Grants and federal college loans. She said she would advocate elimination of tax breaks that encourage corporations to ship jobs overseas, ensuring the state's workers are "competing on an even playing field with foreign workers."
She promises to protect key elements of Obamacare, including: 1) reducing the cost of health insurance to small businesses, 2) requiring preventative care, 3) prohibiting denial of coverage due to pre-existing conditions, 4) allowing children to receive health insurance on their parents' plan until age 26 and 5) extending Medicare's prescription drug coverage.
Finally, Bysiewicz pledges to "promote open and transparent government" by holding regular office hours, ending corporate influence on elections and making earmark requests transparent.
A Democrat representing Connecticut's 5th congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives, Chris Murphy is known for knocking on doors and holding dozens of "supermarket office hours."
Murphy authored Connecticut's Stem Cell Investment Act and a statewide ban on smoking in the workplace.
During his second congressional term, Murphy was appointed to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, where he helped draft Obamacare. Murphy's campaign website describes him as being "a leading voice for the public option."
As current co-chairman of the Congressional Land Conservation Caucus, Murphy prides himself on his commitment to environmental protection. He has also advocated for the federal government to abandon the Defense of Marriage Act and end the "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy that banned openly homosexual individuals from serving in the military. A firm supporter of abortion "rights" and "comprehensive sex education," Murphy promises to fight against "efforts that chip away at Roe v. Wade."
Murphy attended Williams College and received his law degree from the University of Connecticut.
A corporate attorney and son of a Chinese immigrant, William Tong spent his childhood working side-by-side with his parents in their family restaurant, washing dishes, cooking and waiting tables. When his father faced deportation in 1972, the elder Tong wrote a six-page letter to President Richard Nixon. Just one year before William Tong was born, the Department of Justice allowed his father to stay and become a U.S. citizen.
In a 2006 state representative race, Tong soundly defeated a Republican incumbent and made history as the first Democrat ever to represent the 147th district in the General Assembly and the first Asian-Pacific-American elected to state level in Connecticut's history.
Tong was also the first elected official in his state to endorse then-Sen. Barack Obama for president.
The Hartford Courant nicknamed him the "Asian Obama."
Tong proposes increasing credit for small businesses, expanding foreclosure relief to stabilize the housing market and taking the lead on renewable and alternative technologies by creating financing programs to speed adoption of fuel cells, solar panels and energy-efficiency products.
Tong is a graduate of Brown University and the University of Chicago Law School. Within just 50 days of announcing his candidacy for U.S. Senate, Tong reportedly raised $550,000.
A 14-year union member, Democrat Lee Whitnum holds a bachelor of science degree in computer science from the University of Maryland and a master's degree in administration, planning and social policy from Harvard University. She is author of two novels, "Hedge Fund Mistress" and "What About the Dead?"
Whitnum's latest book is "Anti-AIPAC not Anti-Semitic: The Israel Lobby's Dangerous Control of Congress."
She describes herself as "vehemently anti-AIPAC and anti-Zionist." On her campaign website, she writes, "American fundamentalist Christian Zionists are a huge, misguided, political force in our country. ... Israel needs to do right by its underclass; any decisions based on maintaining a 'Jewish majority' is racial prejudice and, as Americans, we should reject it as contrary to our values. If Israel desires racial purity – compensate your underclass and relocate them. Many would go – and absorb the rest. Slaughter and oppression is not the answer."
She also writes, "I am running to stand by President Obama in the inevitable showdown with Netanyahu."
2) Daniel Akaka, D-Hawaii – retiring
John Carroll enlisted in the U.S. Army and served during the Korean War. After graduating from the University of Hawaii, he transferred to the U.S. Air Force and became a jet fighter pilot. He earned his law degree from St. Mary's University College of Law and later specialized in aviation law. Carroll was a commercial pilot for Hawaiian Airlines from 1958 to 1989.
Carroll was elected five times to the Hawaii State Legislature, with four terms as a representative in the House and one term as a state senator.
"I have the experience needed to do this job and will bring a consistent set of conservative values that I share with so many of Hawaii's people," he said in a press release announcing his Senate bid. He offered the following 10-point plan:
1) Lower Hawaii's high cost of living by seeking relief from the archaic Jones Act.
2) Restore ideological balance on the national agenda by giving a voice to those in Hawaii who do not believe in the liberal policies espoused by all of our congressional delegation.
3) Reinvigorate the national and state economies through tax reduction, deregulation and promotion of the principles of our free-enterprise system.
4) Demand fiscal accountability from local and national government. Cut costs and eliminate waste before incurring more debt or resorting to taxation.
5. Overhaul the federal tax code. The existing tax laws have become convoluted, complex and unfair. We should seek simplification, a national sales or flat tax alternative, and eliminate the income tax and IRS.
6) Adherence to the integrity of constitutional law. Personal freedoms guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution are not negotiable, and not subject to judicial "modification."
7) Re-establish sustainable agriculture and aquaculture in Hawaii. Once a model for sustainability and self-sufficiency, Hawaii is now almost totally dependent on expensive imports for food and energy.
8) Fight the "dumbing down" of America and Hawaii. Our public-education system has failed generations of young Americans and has hastened the decline of our ability to compete globally.
9) Defend our island values and environment. Hawaii's unique resources and ecosystem must be protected for future generations.
10) Kanaka Maoli justice. Resist the race-based "define and separate" policies inherent in the proposed Akaka bill, and release land, in fee, directly to qualified native Hawaiians.
Linda Lingle, former governor of Hawaii from December 2002 to December 2010, was appointed by President George W. Bush to serve on the honorary delegation to accompany him to Jerusalem for the celebration of Israel's 60th anniversary in May 2008. She is active in the Republican Jewish Coalition.
On July 6, 2010, Lingle vetoed Hawaii House Bill 444, which would have allowed civil unions for homosexuals in Hawaii, arguing the issue should be decided by referendum. Her campaign website explains that her top priority as U.S. senator will be "federal policies and initiatives that will encourage job creation in the short term and create a vibrant and growing economy in the longer term."
Linda Lingle and President Obama at the White House in 2009.
More than a year and half after Barack Obama was elected president, Lingle is known for publicly voicing the alleged exact location of Obama's birth, saying, "The president was, in fact, born at Kapi'olani Hospital in Honolulu, Hawaii." Her disclosure was believed to be the first time a state government official had declared the precise place where Obama was born, despite numerous other published claims, including some for a different hospital in Honolulu.
"It's been an odd situation," Lingle said, referring to the continuing controversy over the disputed natural-born citizenship of Obama. "This issue kept coming up so much in the campaign, and again I think it's one of those issues that is simply a distraction from the more critical issues that are facing the country. … I think it's again a horrible distraction for the country by those people who continue this."
Lingle earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from California State University, Northridge.
Ed Case –
Ed Case attended Williams College in Massachusetts, graduating with a major in psychology in 1975. After college, he worked as a legislative assistant for U.S. Sen. Spark Matsunaga.
Just a few years later, intent upon a career in elective politics, he earned a law degree from the University of California, Hastings, College of Law in 1981. He returned to Hawaii in 1981 and worked as a law clerk to Hawaii Supreme Court Justice William Richardson. In 1983, he joined the law firm Carlsmith Ball, where he practiced for 20 years, focusing on land and commercial law. He became partner at the firm in 1989.
In 1994, Case was elected to the Hawaii House of Representatives. He served eight years and was later elected to the U.S. House of Representatives following the death of U.S. Rep. Patsy Mink, D-Hawaii. He served three terms in the U.S. House.
As part of his agenda, Case said he will reject "unreasonable and harmful levels of taxation, regulation and spending," focus on small businesses, bring federal contracts to Hawaii, propose a balanced-budget amendment to the U.S. Constitution, cap discretionary spending and strengthen efforts to eliminate waste, fraud and abuse in government.
He also supports reforms for No Child Left Behind and banning the use of Social Security trust funds for non-Social Security purposes. Case promises to improve Obamacare with the addition of tort reform "and other cost controls" and "heighten global environmental protection as centerpiece to our foreign policy."
Barack Obama and Mazie Hirono
Born in Fukushima, Japan, on Nov. 3, 1947, Mazie Hirono became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1959, the year Hawaii became a state. She is the first Asian-American woman to be sworn into Congress.
Hirono graduated with a degree in psychology from the University of Hawaii at Manoa and earned her law degree from Georgetown University Law Center in Washington, D.C., where she focused on public interest law. Following graduation from law school, Hirono returned to Hawaii and served as deputy attorney general before entering private practice. She was elected to the Hawaii House of Representatives in 1980. She was later elected as Hawaii's lieutenant governor in 1994, where she served two four-year terms.
Hirono has been endorsed by EMILY's List for pro-choice women. She voted "no" on banning federal health coverage that includes abortion. In 2007, she voted "yes" on expanding research to more embryonic stem cell lines and providing "emergency contraception" at military facilities.
She opposed a constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Hirono also voted no on opening the Outer Continental Shelf to oil drilling and barring the EPA from regulating greenhouse gases. She supports enforced limits on "CO2 global warming pollution" and removing oil and gas exploration subsidies.
Hirono supported the Cash for Clunkers program and repeal of the military's "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" policy. She voted to expand the Children's Health Insurance Program and supports eliminating tax breaks for the wealthy.
3) Jeff Bingaman, D-New Mexico – retiring
Bill English describes his name recognition as being on a level with "a pet rock named Seymour."
However, English supports a return to the principles of the nation's Founding Fathers and its Constitution. He advocates the immediate repeal of Obamacare and a "more common sense approach to health care in America that does not violate the Constitution and does not bilk the American people of their heard-earned dollars with unconstitutional requirements to purchase government health care." He supports a reduction in government and "government interference in the lives of all Americans."
A states' rights advocate, English also supports fiscal responsibility that "takes care of the needs of the citizens of this country and does not dole out American tax dollars to foreign nations in the form of foreign aid to dictators who steal from their own citizens and would gladly slip a knife between the ribs of America the first chance they got." His fiscal policy is simple: "If we don't have the money, we don't spend the money." He supports a fair tax and term limits in the House and Senate.
English argues for reduced involvement in United Nations mandated policies and treaties that haven't been ratified by Congress and supports "absolutely no involvement either by treaty or by agreement with the United Nations World Court."
Finally, on immigration, English advocates for "immediate expulsion of all foreign nationals who have entered or crossed our national borders illegally" and the completion of the national border security fence.
The youngest of eight children, John Sanchez was raised by a single mother in New Mexico. He has been a small-business owner for nearly 30 years. Sanchez served in the New Mexico House of Representatives from 2000 to 2002. In 2012, he was elected lieutenant governor.
Sanchez believes in getting the government out of the way so entrepreneurs can grow their businesses and create jobs. He explains on his campaign website, "As the federal government grows and becomes a larger percentage of the American economy, it stifles private sector job growth and forces a greater reliance on government services and programs."
He is seeking to put an end to open-border policies that allow human trafficking and drugs to erode the nation's communities. He explains, "We must protect our borders so that Americans are afforded the safety and security that they rightfully expect."
Sanchez describes himself as a pro-life conservative who has "never wavered in his commitment to protecting the unborn." He also advocates for the repeal and replacement of Obamacare, arguing that affordable and accessible health care starts with honest liability reform so good doctors and patients can make health decisions. Sanchez supports a balanced-budget amendment and has signed the Americans for Tax Reform pledge.
Sowards family. Greg Sowards and wife are pictured in white shirts.
In 1970, Greg Sowards enlisted in the U.S. Army and was stationed in Korea, where he provided support for operations in Vietnam while maintaining a U.S. presence there. Sowards explains, "I learned the meaning of sacrifice, and the necessity to defend the rights of people to form and preserve a democracy in the face of communism. During this time away from the United States, I became aware of the sanctity of our Constitution and the liberty that it affords."
When Sowards returned to the states, he graduated with his teaching degree from Brigham Young University. He and his wife, Karen, started their first business in 1982 – manufacturing mini trampolines. However, he soon learned that he could buy imports for less money than he could buy raw materials. Sowards recalled, "I learned that one-sided trade agreements, unfair taxes and over-regulation hurt businesses and the economy here in the United States."
He soon patented a soccer training device called the Kwik Kik and sold tens of thousands of them around the world.
In 1987, he and Karen began a child-care business in Las Cruces, N.M. The business thrived, and they now care for more than 600 children in six facilities and employ more than 70 people.
Once he takes office as a U.S. senator, Sowards promises to ask himself the following five questions before considering any piece of legislation:
- Is this legislation worth putting our children and grandchildren into debt?
- What effect does it have on America's traditional family?
- Does it take rights away from law-abiding citizens and give them to criminals?
- Does it strengthen and uphold the U.S. Constitution?
- Does it protect the sovereignty of America?
Sowards believes "life is not a choice," marriage is between one man and one woman, unimpeded gun ownership is a right and fiscal responsibility is not an option but a responsibility. He believes the government must slash spending, lower taxes and eliminate burdensome regulations to allow businesses to reinvest profits, hire employees and produce new products.
Finally, Sowards pledges to vote for repealing Obamacare – without replacing it – and for legislation that will simplify the tax code.
Heather Wilson was the first woman ever to command a basic training unit after the U.S. Air Force Academy began admitting women. She graduated from the academy in 1982 as a distinguished graduate and earned a Rhodes Scholarship to study at Oxford University. She continued her education at Jesus College, Oxford University, earning a master and doctor of philosopy in international relations. Her book, "International Law and the Use of Force by National Liberation Movements," won the 1988 Paul Reuter Prize, the second ever awarded.
Wilson served in the U.S. Air Force for seven years, until she was chosen to serve as director for European defense policy and arms control at the National Security Council. She left government work in 1991 and founded Keystone International Inc., a company that specialized in working with senior executives in American defense and scientific corporations.
In 1995, then-Gov. Gary Johnson appointed Wilson to be cabinet secretary for New Mexico's Children, Youth and Families Department. Wilson was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives where she served New Mexico's 1st congressional district from 1998 to 2009.
Wilson is also known for blasting CBS and Viacom at a House FCC hearing in 2004 after Janet Jackson exposed her breast during a half-time show at Super Bowl XXXVIII.
"You knew what you were doing," she told the president of Viacom. "You knew what kind of entertainment you were selling, and you wanted us to be all abuzz, here in this room and on the playground in my kids' school, because it improves your ratings. It improves your market share, and it lines your pockets."
On the issue of life, Wilson has voted for: expanding research to more embryonic stem cell lines, banning partial-birth abortion, forbidding human cloning and banning abortion funding in U.S aid abroad.
On the economy, Wilson voted against the $15 billion bailout of GM and Chrysler and against the $60 billion stimulus package in 2008. She also voted for restriction of bankruptcy rules and regulation of the subprime mortgage industry. Wilson has voted for a ban on homosexual adoptions in Washington, D.C., and she believes marriage is between one man and one woman. She received an "A" rating from the National Rifle Association, indicating a pro-gun rights voting record.
Raised by a single mother in public housing, Hector Balderas is the first person from Wagon Mound, N.M., to graduate from law school and become an attorney. He earned his degrees from New Mexico Highlands University and the University of New Mexico Law School and accepted a job as an assistant district attorney.
Balderas served one term in the New Mexico state legislature, where he supported legislation strengthening penalties for sexual predators, creating incentives for clean energy and funding virtual education for rural public schools. According to his campaign website, he "became frustrated with the lack of accountability he was seeing from too many local and state officials that were wasting and abusing taxpayer dollars."
In November 2006, he was elected New Mexico state auditor, where he was charged with regulatory oversight of more than $60 billion in governmental assets and 603 government entitities. His office issued subpoenas to public officials and contractors to provide full accounting of how tax dollars were being spent.
Martin Heinrich and family
The son of an electrician and factory worker, Martin Heinrich graduated from the University of Missouri with a bachelor's degree in science and engineering. He has served New Mexico's 1st congressional district in the U.S. House of Representatives since 2009.
In 2010, NARAL Pro-Choice America PAC endorsed Heinrich, stating, "Rep. Heinrich has a solid record of standing up for women's freedom and privacy. He is an outstanding advocate for New Mexico's common sense pro-choice values. Rep. Heinrich's victory in 2008 is one reason the state has an entirely pro-choice congressional delegation – and we want to keep it that way." Due to his support for abortion, he has a 0 percent record on votes scored by the National Right to Life Committee.
Heinrich is an active environmentalist who served on the Albuquerque City Council, pushing for use of wind and solar power. In 2006, Gov. Bill Richardson appointed him to be New Mexico's natural resources trustee.
In 2008, Heinrich said he did not support homosexual marriage; however, he was an original co-sponsor of Rep. Jerry's Nadler's bill to repeal the Defense of Marriage Act. In August this year, Heinrich told the New Mexico Independent he "absolutely" supports homosexual marriage.
Andres Valdez –
Democrat Andres Valdez is executive director of Vecinos United and an activist who speaks out against cases of alleged police brutality. According to the website NMPolitics.net, Valdez did not raise enough money by Sept. 30 – $5,000 – to file finance reports with the Federal Election Commission. He does not have an active campaign website.
Upon announcing his intention to run, Valdez said, "I want to rock the boat. I know I'll probably be the dark horse."
4) Kent Conrad, D-N.D. – retiring
After serving as a North Dakota state legislator for 26 years, Rick Berg became North Dakota's lone member of the U.S. House of Representatives. In 2010, he defeated nine-term Democratic U.S. Rep. Earl Pomeroy to become the first Republican in three decades to fill the seat.
Berg also ran a commercial real-estate firm in Fargo. He graduated from North Dakota State University with a bachelor's degree in agricultural economics.
Berg is a pro-life social conservative who believes marriage is between one man and one woman. He also supports repeal of Obamacare, preserving Second Amendment rights and opening the Outer Continental Shelf to oil drilling.
In March 2011, he voted yes on terminating funding for National Public Radio. In June 2011, he voted for a resolution against sending armed forces to Libya without congressional approval.
A graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy in 1990, Duane Sand served on three nuclear submarines and achieved the rank of lieutenant commander. He was discharged from active duty in 1999 but was recalled to serve as a U.S. Navy officer during the Iraq war.
Sand helped organize tea parties in North Dakota. He believes Congress must cut unnecessary spending and pass a balanced-budget amendment immediately. According to his campaign website, Sand is calling for a comprehensive energy plan now, "a plan that uses all the resources available to our state and nation safely, including oil, natural gas, wind, solar, clean coal, nuclear and renewables, and ends the ban on offshore drilling."
He describes himself as "100 percent pro-life" and says he will work on pushing legislation "to protect life at every stage, including a push to confirm conservative nominations to the bench." Sand also believes marriage is an institution between one man and one woman.
Finally, Sand said he is "committed to going to Washington and dismantling the Obama agenda, starting with Obamacare."