Republican Rep. Rick Berg defeated Duane Sand in the North Dakota Senate race's Republican primary contest, and will face Democrat Heidi Heitkamp in the battle for retiring Sen. Kent Conrad's seat.
The Associated Press called the GOP race with 30 percent of precincts reporting. Berg led with 67 percent of the vote to Sand's 33 percent. Sand ran to Berg's right, and the congressman was expected to win the primary easily. Heitkamp ran unopposed on the Democratic side.
The race between Berg and Heitkamp is shaping up to be a competitive one. President Obama is very unpopular in the increasingly red state, which benefits Berg. The Republicans have already been linking Heitkamp to the president, and will likely continue to do so.
But Heitkamp is a top recruit for Democrats, and recent polls have shown the two candidates locked in a tight race. Look for Heitkamp, a former attorney general, to try to localize the race and tie Berg to Washington.