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Heitkamp raises $1.6 million for reelection bid: report

Heitkamp raises $1.6 million for reelection bid: report

Sen. Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampMajor unions back Fudge for Agriculture secretary Five House Democrats who could join Biden Cabinet Biden names John Kerry as 'climate czar' in new administration 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 Henry HoevenOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Barrasso to seek top spot on Energy and Natural Resources Committee | Forest Service finalizes rule weakening environmental review of its projects | Biden to enlist Agriculture, Transportation agencies in climate fight Meadows meets with Senate GOP to discuss end-of-year priorities Senate advances energy regulator nominees despite uncertainty of floor vote 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 McConnellAddison (Mitch) Mitchell McConnellMcConnell halts in-person Republican lunches amid COVID-19 surge Biden and reproductive health rights Biden's Cabinet a battleground for future GOP White House hopefuls 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 ManchinJoseph (Joe) ManchinMajor unions back Fudge for Agriculture secretary Voters split on eliminating the filibuster: poll OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Barrasso to seek top spot on Energy and Natural Resources Committee | Forest Service finalizes rule weakening environmental review of its projects | Biden to enlist Agriculture, Transportation agencies in climate fight MORE (W.Va.), Joe DonnellyJoseph (Joe) Simon DonnellyBiden and Schumer face battles with left if Democrats win big Harris walks fine line on Barrett as election nears The Hill's Morning Report - Sponsored by JobsOhio - Showdown: Trump-Biden debate likely to be nasty MORE (Ind.) and Claire McCaskillClaire Conner McCaskillDemocrats must turn around Utah police arrest man driving 130 mph claiming he was going to kill former Missouri senator McCaskill congratulates Hawley on birth of daughter MORE (Mo.).