Heitkamp's brother on her Kavanaugh vote: She may lose but she has to like who she sees in the mirror

Heitkamp's brother on her Kavanaugh vote: She may lose but she has to like who she sees in the mirror

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp's (D-N.D.) brother on Thursday praised the senator's decision to oppose Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh, saying the decision may cost her reelection, but that she needs to "like the person she sees" in the mirror. 

"Who knows, she may lose," Joel Heitkamp said on MSNBC, adding that the Kavanaugh vote will be important for voters in North Dakota. "But in the morning, when she's brushing her teeth, she needs to like the person she sees. In my opinion, she’s voting right, that’s the key."

Joel Heitkamp made the comments just moments after his sister, Heidi HeitkampMary (Heidi) Kathryn HeitkampOn The Money: Stocks sink on Trump tariff threat | GOP caught off guard by new trade turmoil | Federal deficit grew 38 percent this fiscal year | Banks avoid taking position in Trump, Dem subpoena fight Fight over Trump's new NAFTA hits key stretch Former senators launching effort to help Dems win rural votes MORE, announced on a North Dakota radio station that she would vote "no" when the Senate votes on Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh. 

Her announcement came less than a day after the FBI released its finding into sexual misconduct allegations against Kavanaugh. Kavanaugh and Christine Blasey Ford testified last Thursday about Ford's claims that he sexually assaulted her at a high school party in the 1980s. 

Kavanaugh has fiercely denied the accusation. He's also denied sexual misconduct allegations from two other women, Deborah Ramirez and Julie Swetnick. 

"Our actions right now are a poignant signal to young girls and women across our country. I will continue to stand up for them," Heitkamp, who is running for reelection in state won by President TrumpDonald John TrumpFeinstein, Iranian foreign minister had dinner amid tensions: report The Hill's Morning Report - Trump says no legislation until Dems end probes Harris readies a Phase 2 as she seeks to rejuvenate campaign MORE in 2016, said. 

Heitkamp added that when she "listened to Ford testify, I heard the voices of women I have known throughout my life who have similar stories of sexual assault and abuse."

"Countless North Dakotans and others close to me have since reached out and told me their stories of being raped or sexually assaulted – and expressed the same anguish and fear," she said.  

My statement on U.S. Supreme Court nominee Judge Brett Kavanaugh: pic.twitter.com/exZcK78JtF

Heitkamp had said little publicly about her opinions on Kavanaugh this week. She was also one of the Democratic senators to vote in support of Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch in 2017. 

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Polls have shown that Heitkamp is trailing in her bid for reelection this November. According to an average of polls tabulated by RealClearPolitics, Rep. Kevin CramerKevin John CramerThe Hill's Morning Report - Trump says no legislation until Dems end probes Bolton emerges as flashpoint in GOP debate on Iran Trump's immigration push faces Capitol Hill buzzsaw MORE (R-N.D.) has a 8.7-point lead over the current senator.

Other senators viewed as swing votes in Kavanaugh's confirmation, including GOP Sens. Susan Collins (Maine) and Lisa Murkowski (Alaska), have yet to declare their intentions.