I recently donated to the senator's reelection campaign, so I am a supporter.
Susan Collins and Sen. Lisa Murkowski balked their parties, time and time again on key votes.
Full disclosure: I recently donated to the senator's reelection campaign. In all honesty, I am, or should I say, have become a big fan of the women of the United States Senate.I think at this point I have come around to the idea we are going to need these brave, non-bro code, souls to get us through this DJT-inspired predicament we find ourselves in.
I sometimes agreed with their individual positions and other times I didn't, but I have come to respect their ability to stand firm in their beliefs during such a tribal time in American Politics.
I listened to Sen. Heitkamp explain the reasoning behind her decision to not support Brett Kavanaugh for the Supreme court. I believe she said her decision was not a political one, and she is right. Supporting Kavanaugh would be the best thing for her to do right now.
Her poll numbers have declined during this whole process and she is now behind by 12 points in the polls. Voting against the president's supreme court nominee would be committing political suicide.
Why she is voting no on Kavanaugh
The senator sited moral reasons as the motivation for her decision. She made it clear that she did not think the judge was fit to serve in such an important role. Heitkamp said she heard from “countless” women across the state who shared stories mirroring the one Christine Blasey Ford testified about involving Kavanaugh. Her office said outreach from North Dakotans came to 52 percent of constituents supporting Kavanaugh and 46 percent opposing him.
“This isn’t a political decision. If this were a political decision for me, I certainly would be deciding this the other way. But there’s an old saying, history will judge you, but most importantly you’ll judge yourself. And that’s really what I’m saying. I can’t get up in the morning and look at the life experience that I’ve had and say yes to Judge Kavanaugh."
Who is Heidi Heitkamp?
Heitkamp was born in Breckenridge, Minnesota, the fourth of seven children of Doreen LaVonne, a school cook, and Raymond Bernard Heitkamp, a janitor and construction worker. Her father was of German descent, while her mother has half Norwegian and half German ancestry. Heitkamp was raised in Mantador, North Dakota, attending local public schools. She earned a B.A. from the University of North Dakota in 1977 and a J.D. from Lewis and Clark Law School in 1980. Heitkamp interned for the U.S. Congress in 1976 and in the state legislature in 1977.
Practicing attorney and politics
In 1980-81, Heitkamp worked as an attorney for the United States Environmental Protection Agency. She next worked as an attorney for North Dakota State Tax Commissioner Kent Conrad. She also became active in politics, joining the North Dakota Democratic-Nonpartisan League Party.
In 1984, Heitkamp ran for North Dakota State Auditor but was defeated by incumbent Republican Robert W. Peterson. In 1986, Conrad decided to resign as Tax Commissioner in order to run for the U.S. Senate. Heitkamp ran for State Tax Commissioner and won the election with 66% of the vote against Republican Marshall Moore. She served in that position until 1992.
In 1992, the incumbent North Dakota Attorney General, Democrat Nick Spaeth, decided to retire in order to run for governor. Heitkamp ran for Attorney General and won with 62% of the vote. In 1996, she won reelection with 64% of the vote. As Attorney General of North Dakota, Heitkamp became known for leading the state's legal efforts to seek damages from tobacco companies, eventually resulting in the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement.
2000 gubernatorial election
In 2000, incumbent Republican Governor Ed Schafer decided not to seek a third term. Heitkamp ran unopposed in the Democratic primary. On the Republican side, John Hoeven, CEO of the Bank of North Dakota, also ran unopposed. During her campaign for governor, it was announced that Heitkamp had been diagnosed with breast cancer, which later went into remission. Hoeven defeated her 55% to 45%. Heitkamp won 12 of the state's 53 counties.
Business career (2001–2012)
From 2001 to 2012, Heitkamp served as the director of Dakota Gasification Company's Great Plains Synfuels Plant. Heitkamp's brother, Joel, is a radio talk-show host and former North Dakota state senator. Heitkamp has occasionally filled in as host of his program, News and Views, which is broadcast on Clear Channel stations in North Dakota.
U.S. Senate (2012 election)
In January 2011, incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Kent Conrad announced his intent to retire instead of seeking a fourth full term in 2012. On November 8, 2011, Heitkamp announced that she would seek the open seat. She vowed to be "an independent voice. Heitkamp won the November 6, 2012, Senate election by 2,994 votes, less than 1% of the ballots cast. Berg conceded the race the next day though he could have asked for a "demand recount" under North Dakota law.
In 2014, the Daily Beast suggested that she might be a presidential contender in 2020, saying that she had come to Washington "personifying traditional values of the Old West: candor, consistency, hard work, and a sense of good faith and fair play.
In December 2016, it was reported that President-elect Trump was considering Heitkamp for Secretary of Agriculture. In response, Heitkamp said on the radio that she would likely refuse any such offer. "I’m not saying 'never, never,' but I will tell you that I'm very, very honored to serve the people of North Dakota and I hope that no matter what I do, that will always be my first priority...The job that I have right now is incredibly challenging. I love it. Heitkamp represents the state in the Senate alongside Republican John Hoeven, her former opponent in the governor's race.