Candidates to Know: Heidi Heitkamp
Who: Former North Dakota Attorney General, Heidi Heitkamp first ran for state office at age 28 and now at 56 is making her run for the United States Senate. Heitkamp ran for Governor in 2000 and had a strong campaign until she was diagnosed with breast cancer (her opponent used this against her) and had to stop campaigning. She is now in remission and polls since her entry to the race have showed that the race is competitive with Heitkamp holding a small lead.
Why we like her: She’s made the race in North Dakota competitive (in a state Obama is expected to lose in the general election) and raised an impressive $500,000 in only 8 weeks as a non-incumbent. In addition, Heitkamp is honest, down to earth, and resonates with independents
Why it matters: If she wins, Heitkamp would be the first female Senator elected from North Dakota (Jocelyn Burdick was appointed briefly in ’92 after the death of her husband). There are only 17 women in the Senate at present and the number could go down even further in the next election with Sen. Snowe (R-Maine) and Sen. Hutchinson (R-Texas) retiring.