Politicians, with constituents getting coffee

Congressman Kevin Cramer holds ‘Coffee with Cramer’ in Dickinson

More than 30 people gathered (some standing) in a room in the back of The Brew in Dickinson, to participate in a very intimate conversation with U.S. Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-ND.

During his event, ‘Coffee with Cramer,’ U.S. Representative Kevin Cramer, R-N.D. addresses the crowd of nearly 30 people. The event was held in the back of The Brew in downtown Dickinson and Cramer spoke for a little more than an hour. (Photo by Cole Benz/The Herald)
During his event, ‘Coffee with Cramer,’ U.S. Representative Kevin Cramer, R-N.D. addresses the crowd of nearly 30 people. The event was held in the back of The Brew in downtown Dickinson and Cramer spoke for a little more than an hour. (Photo by Cole Benz/The Herald)

By COLE BENZ
Herald Editor | cbenz@countrymedia.net

More than 30 people gathered (some standing) in a room in the back of The Brew in Dickinson, to participate in a very intimate conversation with U.S. Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-ND.

On Thursday, Aug. 4, Cramer made his fifth stop on his Coffee With Cramer tour in Dickinson, and constituents from around the area, including Mott and Regent, came for the event.

U.S. Representative Kevin Cramer, R-N.D. shakes hands with attendees of his ‘Coffee With Cramer’ event in Dickinson. (Photo by Cole Benz/The Herald)
U.S. Representative Kevin Cramer, R-N.D. shakes hands with attendees of his ‘Coffee With Cramer’ event in Dickinson.
(Photo by Cole Benz/The Herald)

It was a very personable, town-hall like setting, where constituents were able to ask questions and voice their opinions. People were able to sit as close as six feet from the congressman, a far different setting than during a debate or a public speech.

Cramer opened the evening by thanking the crowd for giving him the opportunity to get in touch with North Dakotans.

“I want to start out by thanking you,” Cramer said to the crowd. “For this gift you’ve given me, the irrevocable gift of your time.”

Cramer said he prides himself in these meetings, he said of the 435 members of the U.S. House of Representatives, he holds more town hall meetings than anyone else.

“I didn’t set out for that designation,” Cramer said. “I just wanted to have a lot of town halls.”

Since he took office in 2013 he has held 335 town hall meetings, which is 122 more than the next closest congressman, according to Cramer.

This latest tour comes on the heels of an election year for Cramer. In November he will go up against Democratic candidate Chase Iron Eyes and Libertarian candidate Jack Seamands. Cramer was initially elected to office in 2013 and took the position in 2014.

After his introduction, Cramer took questions from the crowd. Inquiries ranged from free trade issues, immigration, and the Affordable Healthcare Act, to requests for the congressman to support certain bills and issues.

But one of the more interesting occurrences during the meeting happened between Cramer and a U.S. Military veteran. This vet voiced her discord for how her medical expenses have been dealt with and was requesting the help of the congressman. But before Cramer even had a chance to respond, a representative from the area’s veteran’s service office, who happened to attend the meeting, spoke up and offered her assistance.

The congressman seemed giddy at the coincidence, and reiterated his joy of holding these types of town hall like meetings.

“This is why we do this, isn’t this something,” Cramer said.

Cramer fielded questions and listened to concerns for just over an hour before concluding the gathering. He said again, how much he appreciates the small gatherings and the time people take to come out and give him. He also said it helps him emotionally meet with people in such an intimate way.

“Being connected is really important,” Cramer said. “ All this helps me better understand the issues in a more intimate way.”

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