- Associated Press - Tuesday, October 14, 2014

FARGO, N.D. (AP) - North Dakota Republicans said Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s appearance at a fundraiser Tuesday night should encourage party faithful to finish off what they expect to be a successful election.

The potential presidential candidate delivered his familiar “American dream” speech to supporters who gathered in one of Fargo’s most expensive homes and said the state should be held up as an example for people who want to achieve that dream.

“North Dakota is a state we talk about often around the country,” Rubio said afterward. “We tout it as an example for what energy exploration and stable government policies can mean to economic growth.”

In addition to raising money and giving a pep talk to a party that has dominated state politics in recent years, Rubio said he wanted a firsthand look at the state that is thriving primarily because of an oil boom and tech sector jobs.

“It’s something we should look at from a national perspective,” Rubio said. “What are they doing right in North Dakota and let’s try to do that in other parts of our country as well.”

Republicans currently hold every state office in North Dakota. Two of the state’s three members in Congress are Republicans and one of them, Rep. Kevin Cramer, is running for re-election. State Republican Party chairman Robert Harms said Rubio’s visit provided an added boost with the election three weeks away.

“People are somewhat content in terms of North Dakota. We all have jobs, we’re all making money, things are good,” Harms said. “We want to make sure that people don’t take the good times in North Dakota for granted.”

Rubio told the group that government policies have been slow to react to rapid changes in the economy and said work needs to be done on higher education, taxes, regulation, health care and the cost of living.

Rubio for president is a “done deal,” Harms said after the speech.

“I’ve heard him speak a few times. I’ve heard the message he gave tonight,” Harms said. “I think he touched on all the key points.”

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