“Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D) announced her long-expected reelection campaign Wednesday, one day after attending dinner at the White House and one week after President Trump visited her home state and praised the incumbent. As Trump inexplicably grants the North Dakota Democrat political cover in a state that delivered his fourth-largest victory margin, the field to face Heitkamp is far from settled. GOP state Sen. Tom Campbell jumped into the race last month, giving Republicans their first major candidate, while Rep. Kevin Cramer (R) is still leaving strategists guessing about whether he will give up the safe, at-large House seat to run a grueling challenge to Heitkamp.”
“In an interview, Campbell pledged to stay in the Senate race, regardless of Cramer’s plans, but noted that Cramer was supportive of his campaign when the two spoke ahead of his announcement.”
“I think he’s probably leaning toward staying where he’s at,” Campbell said. “But that is not what he said. He just isn’t ready, and I was ready, and the time was right, so I jumped in. We can’t wait any longer because it’s a big race.” (Hotline reporting)
In declaring her reelection, Heitkamp said the White House dinner “really cemented” her decision to run. “There is a real opportunity for people who want to find compromise in this country,” she said, adding, “If you only elect hard-liners on one side of the aisle or the other side of the aisle, we don’t get the business of government done.” (KFGO)
In a statement released late Wednesday morning, Heitkamp said she cares “too much about North Dakota not to run.” (release)
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