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Heitkamp Opts to Stay in Senate, Won’t Run for Governor

(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)
(Chris Maddaloni/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

North Dakota Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp announced Wednesday she won’t run for governor in 2016.  

According to Bismarck Tribune reporter Nick Smith, Heitkamp, speaking on her brother’s Fargo, N.D., radio show, said she didn’t think the time was right.  

Heitkamp had given herself a Wednesday deadline to make a decision about seeking the executive slot after GOP Gov. Jack Dalrymple announced last month he would not run for re-election. She lost a 2000 gubernatorial race to her now Senate colleague John Hoeven.  

Heitkamp narrowly defeated former GOP Rep. Rick Berg in 2012 and is expected to face a stiff re-election contest in 2018.  

The Republican legislature last spring passed legislation requiring a special election to fill a Senate vacancy. So had Heitkamp left the Senate and won a gubernatorial campaign, she would not have been able to appoint a successor ; her seat would have been filled by special election instead.

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