Heitkamp said in a statement that Sutton’s 16 years of legislative experience, including 11 years as a staff member for Sen. Kent Conrad (D-N.D.), will allow her office to “hit the ground running.”

The former state attorney general narrowly defeated Republican Rep. Rick Berg in the North Dakota Senate race.

Last month, Heitkamp named her campaign manager, Tessa Gould, as chief of staff.