Zinke tells North Dakota Republicans Trump ‘needs allies’

GRAND FORKS — U.S. Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke rallied North Dakota Republicans here Saturday, April 7, and boosted Rep. Kevin Cramer, his former congressional colleague who was endorsed as the party’s pick for the U.S. Senate earlier in the day.

Zinke, a former Republican congressman from Montana, avoided direct mention of his current role in President Donald Trump’s Cabinet during his speech, which lasted less than 14 minutes. He instead discussed North Dakota’s role in making the country “energy independent,” complimented the state’s college football teams and highlighted differing votes between Cramer and his opponent, Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp.

“Who can be against lower taxes? Well you know who’s against lower taxes,” Zinke told the convention crowd at the Alerus Center, referring to the Republican-backed tax law that Heitkamp voted against.