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Cramer's third-quarter campaign contributions came mostly from oil-related individuals

by Mike McFeely

U.S. Rep. Kevin Cramer of North Dakota is leaning on campaign contributions from donors connected to the oil industry, according to Federal Election Commission filings.

Most of Cramer's individual campaign contributions in the third quarter of 2013 came from western North Dakota, Texas and Oklahoma. That information comes from FEC filings from July 1, 2013 to Sept. 30, 2013.

The Cramer for Congress committee raised $215,650 during that three-month period and has $239,473 cash-on-hand.

 (Photo credit: www.kevincramer.org)

Cramer was elected to his first term in the U.S. House in 2012.

His fundraising appears to be lagging compared to recent history. A comparison: In her first fundraising cycle after being elected to represent South Dakota in the U.S. House in 2010, Rep. Kristi Noem raised about $285,000 in the third quarter of 2011 and had nearly $790,000 cash-on-hand.

One of Cramer's fundraising issues might be the geographic dispersion of his contributors.

He had only 5 individual contributors in North Dakota who live east of Jamestown (they were from Fargo, Grand Forks and West Fargo). The rest were mostly from North Dakota's oil patch (towns like Williston, Dickinson, Tioga and Ray were heavily represented). The bulk of the remainder of contributors were from Texas and Oklahoma, and most of those are involved in the oil industry.

Among Cramer's largest in-state individual donors is Cale Kaupp of Williston, whose occupation is listed as Pat's Off-Road Inc., a Williston company that provides frac fluid heating services.

Among Cramer's largest out-of-state individual donors are Dale and Linda Behan of Fort Worth, Texas. Dale Behan is president of Western Company of Texas, a subsidiary of Select Energy Services of Houston, which specializes in oilfield water transfer.

Other large Texas donors were Patrick and Linda Rayes of Dallas. Patrick Rayes was listed as self-employed in oil and gas investments.

Cramer also received $2,000 from Cantor for Congress, the fundraising committee for U.S. House Majority Leader Eric Cantor of Virginia. Cantor's political action committee, Every Republican Is Crucial, also contributed $5,000 to Cramer in the third quarter and $10,000 total in 2013.

Cantor spearheaded the House conservatives' fight to gut the Farm Bill, and has been blamed by Democrats and moderate Republicans for holding up the Farm Bill, which has still not been passed.

(Mike McFeely is a talk-show host on KFGO-AM in Fargo, N.D. He can be reached at mike.mcfeely@mwcradio.com. Follow him on Twitter @MikeMcFeelyKFGO.)