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Earl Pomeroy
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from North Dakota's at-large district
In office
January 3, 1993 – January 3, 2011
Preceded byByron Dorgan
Succeeded byRick Berg
Insurance Commissioner of North Dakota
In office
January 1, 1985 – December 15, 1992
GovernorGeorge Sinner
Preceded byJorris Wigen
Succeeded byGlenn Pomeroy
Member of the North Dakota House of Representatives
In office
Personal details
Earl Ralph Pomeroy III

(1952-09-02) September 2, 1952 (age 71)
Valley City, North Dakota, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
SpouseMary Berglund
EducationValley City State University
University of North Dakota (BA, JD)

Earl Ralph Pomeroy III[1] (born September 2, 1952) is an American lawyer and politician who served as the U.S. representative for North Dakota's at-large congressional district from 1993 to 2011. He is a member of the North Dakota Democratic-NPL Party. He currently serves as senior counsel for the Washington, D.C. branch of Alston & Bird.[2]

As of 2023, he is the last Democrat to have represented that seat.

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Early life, education and career

Pomeroy was born in Valley City in Barnes County in eastern North Dakota. He attended Valley City State University where he was initiated as a member of Tau Kappa Epsilon fraternity and later transferred to the University of North Dakota at Grand Forks, where he earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in political science and went on to do graduate research in legal history at Durham University in England. Pomeroy returned to North Dakota to attend the University of North Dakota School of Law, having received his Juris Doctor in 1979. In 2011, he received an honorary Doctor of Letters degree from the University of North Dakota.[3]

State government

Pomeroy was elected to the North Dakota House of Representatives in 1980, and became North Dakota Insurance Commissioner in 1985, a post that he held until 1992.

U.S. House of Representatives

Committee assignments

Caucuses and coalitions

  • Co-Chair of the bipartisan Rural Health Care Coalition

Pomeroy was a member of the Blue Dog Coalition.[4]

Political positions

Iraq War

Although he supported authorizing force in Iraq in 2002, he later increasingly spoke out against the war.[5] Earl Pomeroy supported the House resolution opposing George W. Bush's troop surge plan in February 2007. He said in a floor speech,[6] "We take care of our soldiers over [in Iraq] by making sure their deployments are only for acceptable periods and at acceptable intervals, with enough time at home in between to heal, to rest, and to train. But beyond these things, we take care of our soldiers over there when we as a Congress make certain the mission they have sent to perform has a reasonable chance of success.

"In a war where so many tragic mistakes have been made, this Congress must not sit quietly by while additional plans are cooked up in Washington whose only certainty is to accelerate the loss of American lives, compound the already severe strain on our military capabilities, and accelerate the burn rate of American dollars spent in Iraq. ... Without the commitment between the warring parties in Iraq to stop the killing, and create a political agreement upon which a national government can exist, 20,000 more U.S. soldiers are not likely to bring about a lasting peace."

Health care

Pomeroy voted for the Affordable Health Care for America Act in November 2009, stating that the bill was far from perfect, "but so is our present system."[7]

Adoption tax credit

Pomeroy strongly supported legislation allowing parents to deduct adoption expenses they incurred. On the day of the vote, Pomeroy brought his daughter whom he and his wife had adopted from South Korea, onto the House floor.[8]

Political campaigns

Pomeroy was first elected to the U.S. House of Representatives in 1992. For his first five campaigns, he did not gain the victory margins scored by North Dakota's two Democratic Senators, Kent Conrad and Byron Dorgan. Until 2004, he never won more than 57 percent of the vote. However, in 2004 he was reelected with almost 60 percent.


Pomeroy faced Republican Matthew Mechtel in the 2006 general election, easily winning re-election to his eighth term. He received a larger percentage of votes (65.68%) than in his previous elections.


In 2008, Pomeroy easily retained his seat in the House of Representatives defeating Republican Duane Sand.[9]


Pomeroy was defeated by Republican nominee state Representative Rick Berg.[10] That marked the first time in 30 years that this seat would be been held by a Republican.

Pomeroy's election loss was attributed to his vote for the health care reform bill.[11]

Post-Congressional career

After leaving Congress, Pomeroy joined the K Street firm Alston & Bird, where he works as a lobbyist for hospitals.[12] Pomeroy's move to the private sector was "unusually swift"; by June 2011, he had registered as a lobbyist.[12] Pomeroy joined former Senate Majority Leader and presidential candidate Bob Dole at Alston & Bird.[13]

Personal life

Pomeroy is a Presbyterian. He lives in Mandan, North Dakota; he has two children, Kathryn and Scott. On July 2, 2009, Pomeroy married Mary Berglund in a private ceremony at the site of his family's homestead in Valley City, North Dakota.

Pomeroy was a stand out rugby player at UND in the 1970s, also playing later at Durham University.

See also


  1. ^ POMEROY, Earl Ralph, III (1952-)
  2. ^ Hon. Earl Pomeroy
  3. ^ "Pomeroy to receive honorary UND degree". Grand Forks Herald. April 25, 2011.
  4. ^ "Blue Dog Coalition". 2009-04-27. Archived from the original on 2010-06-15. Retrieved 2010-07-12.
  5. ^ "Pomeroy opposes troop buildup." Mary Claire Jalonick. Associated Press. 2/15/07.
  6. ^ C-SPAN Iraq War Debate Archived February 16, 2007, at the Wayback Machine
  7. ^ "Pomeroy votes for health care bill | North Dakota News". Retrieved 2010-07-12.
  8. ^ Barone, Michael; Ujifusa, Grant (1999). The Almanac of American Politics 2000. National Journal Group Inc. p. 1234.
  9. ^ Hoeven, Pomeroy enjoy widespread support, KXMC CBS13. Retrieved 20 Nov '08.
  10. ^ "GOP's Berg beats Dem Pomeroy for ND US House seat". The Washington Post. November 2, 2010.
  11. ^ Elahe Izadi & Sam Baker, I Lost My Seat in Congress, and All I Got Was This Broken Website: Democrats who walked the plank for Obamacare in 2010 now have to watch the White House mess it up, The Atlantic (November 15, 2013).
  12. ^ a b Eric Lipton (August 5, 2011). "Ex-Lawmaker Still a Friend of Hospitals". New York Times.
  13. ^ Kate Ackley, Alston & Bird Announces Addition of Tauzin, Roll Call (January 26, 2011).

External links

Party political offices
Preceded by Democratic nominee for North Dakota Insurance Commissioner
1984, 1988
Succeeded by
Glenn Pomeroy
Political offices
Preceded by
Jorris Wigen
Insurance Commissioner of North Dakota
Succeeded by
Glenn Pomeroy
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from North Dakota's At-large congressional district

Succeeded by
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded byas Former US Representative Order of precedence of the United States
as Former US Representative
Succeeded byas Former US Representative
This page was last edited on 16 October 2023, at 23:49
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