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Hoeven trip causes Senate speculation

Feb. 2, 2005 at 3:52 PM

FARGO, N.D., Feb. 2 (UPI) -- A scheduled Thursday meeting between President George W. Bush and North Dakota Gov. John Hoeven has the state speculating about Hoven's plans.

Hoeven, a Republican in his second term as governor, is to meet with Bush aboard Air Force One while the president visits North Dakota to rally support for his Social Security reform package.

Some political observers hope Hoeven can be convinced to run for a U.S. Senate seat in 2006 against Democrat Kent Conrad, who, the Fargo (N.D.) Forum said, is also to be a guest of the president en route to the state.

An easy victor in his bid for a second term in 2004, winning 71 percent of the vote, Hoeven has been mum about his plans regarding a possible bid for a U.S. House or Senate seat in 2006.

"What he's said all along is that he's focused squarely on doing his job as governor, and there's no point in speculating on something that far down the line," Don Canton, Hoeven's communications director and policy adviser, said. "He's just not going to talk about it."

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