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ND-Sen: Dwight Grotberg vs. Ken Conrad

“You will most likely never be able to walk again. You can pray, but don’t hope.”

On Aug. 6, 1996, that’s what a neurologist in a Fargo hospital told Dwight Grotberg, a farmer from Barnes County, North Dakota, as he came out of surgery. The day before, while headed to a field on a tractor on the first day of harvest, Grotberg had been rear-ended by a semi trailer. An ambulance rushed him to the local clinic and soon the severely injured farmer was airlifted to Fargo for emergency treatment.

“When I heard the doctor’s prediction, I was just happy I was under sedation,” recalled Grotberg. But two weeks later, he began to have some sensation in his feet and could wiggle is toes. That was a start. What followed was a vigorous regimen of exercises such as walking with parallel bars and regular prayers with his wife and children.

A year after the near-fatal accident and the gloomy prognosis, Dwight Grotberg was his old self—albeit with a six-inch rod in his back and some very powerful arms and strong upper-body. He was walking, driving and doing the same chores on his farm that his family had performed for four generations.

Now 39 and following a stint as chairman of the Anderson Township Board (the local governing body), Grotberg is the Republican nominee against Democratic Sen. Kent Conrad (D.-N.D.).

Explaining his decision to take on Conrad (lifetime American Conservative Union rating: 20%), the GOP hopeful noted that “when I was studying agricultural economics at North Dakota State University 16 years ago, Sen. Conrad came and spoke to us. He’s still in the Senate and things have gotten worse. I just felt it was time for a change and time to replace a career politician with someone who has private-sector experience.”

Grotberg passionately believes that lifelong office-holders such as Conrad perpetuate many of the current problems because they won’t make dramatic changes that are critical. In his words, “I almost ended up in a wheelchair, but anyone who lives long enough may wind end up in one. That’s why a more free-market approach to health care must be explored and implemented. The same is true with energy and Social Security, before it’s too late.”

The GOP challenger is not shy about noting when he disagrees with many in his own party’s leaders. He would have opposed the “No Child Left Behind” program that enhanced the federal role in education and he’s against a guest-worker program for illegal immigrants—both major initiatives of the Bush Administration.

“And I’m actively pro-life,” adds Grotberg, the father of seven.

To be sure, Grotberg has his work cut out for him trying to take out someone who has been in office for 27 years and can call on mega-dollars from political action committees. But Grotberg has faced daunting odds before and has overcome them. For all the odds against, him, conservatives should give attention and consideration to proven “overcomer” Dwight Grotberg.

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John Gizzi has come to be known as ???the man who knows everyone in Washington??? and, indeed, many of those who hold elected positions and in party leadership roles throughout the United States. With his daily access to the White House as a correspondent, Mr. Gizzi offers readers the inside scoop on what???s going on in the nation???s capital. He is the author of a number of popular Human Events features, such as ???Gizzi on Politics??? and spotlights of key political races around the country. Gizzi also is the host of ???Gizzi???s America,??? video interviews that appear on Gizzi got his start at Human Events in 1979 after graduating from Fairfield University in Connecticut and then working for the Travis County (Tex.) Tax Assessor. He has appeared on hundreds of radio and TV shows, including Fox News Channel, C-SPAN, America's Voice,The Jim Bohannon Show, Fox 5, WUSA 9, America's Radio News Network and is also a frequent contributor to the BBC -- and has appeared on France24 TV and German Radio. He is a past president of the Georgetown Kiwanis Club, past member of the St. Matthew's Cathedral's Parish Council, and secretary of the West End Friends of the Library. He is a recipient of the William A. Rusher Award for Journalistic Excellence and was named Journalist of the Year by the Conservative Political Action Conference in 2002. John Gizzi is also a credentialed correspondent at the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. He has questioned two IMF managing directors, Dominique Strauss-Kahn and Christine LaGarde, and has become friends with international correspondents worldwide. John???s email is JGizzi@EaglePub.Com

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