Sen. Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampWashington's oldest contact sport: Lobbyists scrum to dilute or kill Democrats' tax bill Progressives prepare to launch counterattack in tax fight Business groups aim to divide Democrats on .5T spending bill MORE (D-N.D.) has emerged as President-elect Donald TrumpDonald TrumpTrump takes shot at new GOP candidate in Ohio over Cleveland nickname GOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 On The Money — Dems dare GOP to vote for shutdown, default MORE’s top choice for Agriculture secretary, Politico reported Saturday.
Heitkamp joining Trump's administration would require a special election to fill her Senate seat, which could flip to a Republican.
As The Hill reported Friday, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellGOP political operatives indicted over illegal campaign contribution from Russian national in 2016 McConnell privately urged GOP senators to oppose debt ceiling hike On The Money — Dems dare GOP to vote for shutdown, default MORE (R-Ky.) met with Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), an early Trump backer, to discuss a potential future in the upper chamber.
Cramer has said he plans to challenge Heitkamp in 2018. A bid to flip Heitkamp's seat red could increase the GOP's Senate majority.
A GOP source told the Hill that McConnell has been collaborating with the transition team.
“His message was 52 is a good number, but 53 or 54 is a lot better number. And the sooner the better,” the source said of the GOP’s majority in the Senate.
Trump has been considering Heitkamp for Agriculture or Energy secretary. The pair met earlier this month at Trump Tower in New York.