North Dakota Democrat Heitkamp to run for reelection

North Dakota Democrat Heitkamp to run for reelection
© Greg Nash

Sen. Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampDemocrats scramble to contain Franken fallout  Overnight Finance: House passes sweeping tax bill in huge victory for GOP | Senate confirms banking regulator | Mulvaney eyed for interim head of consumer agency Overnight Regulation: Senators unveil bipartisan gun background check bill | FCC rolls back media regs | Family leave credit added to tax bill | Senate confirms banking watchdog MORE (D-N.D.) announced Wednesday that she will seek reelection in 2018.

The decision had been expected, but gives Democrats certainty heading into a tough reelection fight in a state President Trump won by 36 points in November.

Heitkamp made the announcement on a North Dakota radio show hosted by her brother before elaborating in a statement and on social media about her decision.

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"I'm running for reelection to the U.S. Senate because I care too much about North Dakota not to run," she said.

"Far too often in Congress, extreme views on the right and left get all the attention. I believe that you get results by talking with and working with those on either side of the aisle. That's the North Dakota way. It's for that reason that I've been able to accomplish a great deal for our state."

Heitkamp's focus on her bipartisan leanings in her lengthy statement underscores the tough line she'll need to walk in order to win reelection in such a red state.

While other Democrats run as far away from Trump as they can, Heitkamp has been far more open to working with the president. She appeared on stage with Trump during a tax reform speech in North Dakota last week and attended a bipartisan working dinner with the president on Wednesday.

So far, state Sen. Tom Campbell is the only Republican to announce a bid to take her on. Campbell could face competition in his primary from Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), who continues to mull a bid.