Heitkamp raises $1.6 million for reelection bid: report

Heitkamp raises $1.6 million for reelection bid: report

Sen. Heidi HeitkampHeidi HeitkampRegulatory experts push Senate leaders for regulatory reform Why governors hold power in the battle for GOP healthcare votes Vulnerable senators raise big money ahead of 2018 MORE (D-N.D.) raised $1.6 million in the first quarter of 2017 as she gears up for what is expected to be a fierce and highly contested reelection bid next year, Politico reported Wednesday.

Heitkamp is expected to enter the second quarter — April through June — with more than $2 million cash on hand. What's more, the $1.6 million raised in the first three months of 2017 marks the largest haul of any other North Dakota senatorial contender in the first quarter of a nonelection year, according to Politico.

By comparison, the news outlet noted that Sen. John HoevenJohn HoevenMcCain absence adds to GOP agenda’s uncertainty McCain diagnosis looms over GOP healthcare talks This week: ObamaCare repeal faces latest setback in Senate MORE (R-N.D.) raised $1.3M during the first quarter of his first Senate run in 2010.ˇ

President Trump won North Dakota by more than 100,000 votes in November, making Heitkamp's seat a prime target for Republicans looking to expand their Senate majority in the 2018 midterms. 

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Heitkamp has not officially declared whether she will run for reelection, though she is expected to. She does not yet have a Republican challenger, but Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.) has been a rumored pick. Politico reported that he met with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellMitch McConnellSenators, you passed ObamaCare repeal-only bill in 2015 — do it again Senate heads to new healthcare vote with no clear plan McCain absence adds to GOP agenda’s uncertainty MORE (R-Ky.) late last year to discuss a challenge to Heitkamp.

Heitkamp is among a handful of Senate Democrats facing reelection bids in states Trump won by large margins. Among them are Sens. Joe ManchinJoe ManchinGovernors-turned-senators meet to talk healthcare Manchin organizing bipartisan healthcare meeting Tuesday night Moderate Republicans, Dems huddle on healthcare MORE (W.Va.), Joe DonnellyJoe DonnellyIndiana GOP rep: Likely primary opponent 'lying about my family' Dem senator to sell stock in family company that uses outsourced labor Vulnerable senators raise big money ahead of 2018 MORE (Ind.) and Claire McCaskillClaire McCaskillSenate Dems warn potential Missouri GOP recruit with opposition research dump GOP rep declines Senate bid challenging McCaskill Vulnerable senators raise big money ahead of 2018 MORE (Mo.).