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Q&A with Sen. Dorgan

By Staff | Feb 19, 2010

Juniors and seniors at Rugby Jr.-Sr. High had the privilege to spend part of an hour with U.S. Sen. Byron Dorgan-D on Feb. 18 in perhaps one of his last stops to the community while he is in office.

Dorgan, who has served in the U.S Congress for 30 years, both as a member of the House of Representative and Senate, earlier this year announced he would not seek re-election.

His stop in Rugby was an opportunity to learn what’s on the minds of local teens.

“Any time I am traveling across the state I try and stop at a school,’ Dorgan said. “When I was in school no one (public official) came by my high school to visit. I think it’s important to meet with them, and listen to what they have to say.”

Dorgan gave a few brief remarks about his experiences growing up and attendng a small school in Regent before fielding questions from the students.

Junior Brittney Fritel asked if social security would be around for her generation. Dorgan gave a brief history lesson of the program and said steps are in place to insure she and others will have that program in the future.

Junior Tessa Koenig asked about the status of health care in the country. Dorgan said he’s also frustrated with the current system and struggles in getting sensible health care legislation passed. He believes it should be a right for all Americans.

Senior Jacob Nelson asked about the efforts to expand alternative energy resources. Dorgan said he supports it, adding wind and solar energy and bio-fuels are key components in helping our country become less dependent on foreign oil. Continued research and development in alternative energy is important.

Others questions asked concerned the continued threat of nuclear weapons, the growing national debt, and bringing U.S. troops home from foreign lands.

His parting message to the students was to take advantage of the wonderful education and opportunities here in North Dakota, and set high goals. “I encourage you to live up to your potential,’ Dorgan said.

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