|United States Senator
from North Dakota
January 3, 2013
Serving with John Hoeven
|Preceded by||Kent Conrad|
|28th Attorney General of North Dakota|
December 15, 1992 – December 15, 2000
|Preceded by||Nicholas Spaeth|
|Succeeded by||Wayne Stenehjem|
|20th Tax Commissioner of North Dakota|
December 2, 1986 – December 15, 1992
|Preceded by||Kent Conrad|
|Succeeded by||Robert Hanson|
|Born||Mary Kathryn Heitkamp
October 30, 1955
Breckenridge, Minnesota, U.S.
|Political party||North Dakota Democratic-Nonpartisan League Party|
|Residence||Mandan, North Dakota|
|Alma mater||University of North Dakota (B.A.)
Lewis and Clark College (J.D.)
Mary Kathryn "Heidi" Heitkamp (born October 30, 1955) is the junior United States Senator from North Dakota, in office since 2013, and a member of the North Dakota Democratic-Nonpartisan League Party. She was the 28th North Dakota Attorney General, serving from 1993 to 2001, and State Tax Commissioner from 1989 to 1993.
Heitkamp was an unsuccessful candidate for governor in the 2000 gubernatorial election, losing to John Hoeven. She considered a bid for the Democratic nomination in the 2010 U.S. Senate election to replace retiring Senator Byron Dorgan, but on March 3, 2010, declined the rematch against Hoeven, who was ultimately elected.
In November 2011, Heitkamp declared her candidacy to replace Kent Conrad as U.S. Senator from North Dakota in the 2012 election. She narrowly defeated Republican Congressman Rick Berg on November 6, 2012, in that year's closest Senate race, with Berg conceding the next day. She is North Dakota's second female senator, after Jocelyn Burdick, and the first to be elected.
- 1 Early life, education, and early career
- 2 Attorney General
- 3 2000 gubernatorial election
- 4 Business career (2001–2011)
- 5 U.S. Senate
- 6 Political positions
- 7 Personal life
- 8 Electoral history
- 9 References
- 10 External links
Early life, education, and early career
Heitkamp was born in Breckenridge, Minnesota, the fourth of seven children of Doreen LaVonne (née Berg) and Raymond Bernard Heitkamp. Her father was of German descent, while her mother is of half Norwegian and half German ancestry. Heitkamp was raised in Mantador, North Dakota. She earned a B.A. from the University of North Dakota in 1977 and a J.D. from Lewis and Clark Law School in 1980. In 1980-81, she was an attorney for the United States Environmental Protection Agency. She next worked for the Office of the North Dakota State Tax Commissioner as an attorney.
In 1986, incumbent State Tax Commissioner Kent Conrad decided to retire in order to run for the U.S. Senate. Heitkamp ran for the position and won the statewide election with 66% of the vote against Republican Marshall Moore. She served in that position until 1992.
In 1992, the incumbent North Dakota Attorney General, Democrat Nick Spaeth, decided to retire in order to run for governor of North Dakota. Heitkamp ran for the position and won with 62% of the vote. In 1996, she won reelection with 64% of the vote.
Heitkamp's best-known achievement as Attorney General of North Dakota was to lead the state's legal efforts against tobacco companies, which resulted in the Tobacco Master Settlement Agreement. This provides for the tobacco companies to pay the state funds to be applied to health care costs.
2000 gubernatorial election
In 2000, incumbent Republican Governor Ed Schafer decided not to seek a third term. Heitkamp ran and was unopposed in the primary. On the Republican side, John Hoeven, CEO of Bank of North Dakota, also ran unopposed. During her campaign for governor it was announced that Heitkamp had been diagnosed with breast cancer, which is now in remission. Hoeven defeated her 55% to 45%. Heitkamp won 12 of the state's 53 counties.
Business career (2001–2011)
Her brother, Joel Heitkamp, is a radio talk-show host and former North Dakota state senator. Heitkamp has occasionally filled in for her brother as host of his program, News and Views, which is broadcast on Clear Channel stations in North Dakota.
In January 2011, incumbent Democratic U.S. Senator Kent Conrad announced his intent to retire instead of seeking a fourth full term in 2012. On November 8, 2011, Heitkamp announced she would seek the open seat. She vowed to be "an independent voice."
Heitkamp was attacked in commercials for accepting campaign contributions from a trial lawyer, Jack McConnell, Jr., assigned by her to help North Dakota implement its settlement with tobacco companies when she served as state attorney general. Heitkamp released an ad to respond to these allegations.
Heitkamp won the November 6, 2012, Senate election by 2,994 votes, less than 1% of the ballots cast. Berg conceded the race the next day. If he had not, the race could have been subject to a "demand recount" under North Dakota law, which permits candidates to demand a recount if they lose an election by more than 0.5% but less than 2% of the vote cast for the candidate receiving the most votes for the office sought.
- Committee on Agriculture, Nutrition and Forestry
- Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs
- Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
- Committee on Indian Affairs
- Committee on Small Business and Entrepreneurship
Heitkamp has said that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act contains "good and bad" and "it needs to be fixed." She criticized her Senate opponent Rick Berg for wanting to repeal the law, citing concerns about insurance companies denying coverage to children with preexisting conditions. Berg and the NRSC criticized Heitkamp for offering unqualified support for the health care law until she ran for the Senate in 2011, citing footage of her at a 2010 rally where she called the bill "a legacy vote" without any criticism of it.
During the United States federal government shutdown of 2013, Heitkamp criticized Republican attempts to use the Continuing Appropriations Resolution as "a vehicle to legislate other issues", such as the defunding of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act and a delay of its individual mandate. Heitkamp was one of 14 members of a bipartisan Senate group that negotiated the compromise that was the basis of the eventual deal to end the shutdown. During the government shutdown in 2013 Heitkamp donated about $8,000 of her salary to North Dakota charities that support veterans, provide healthcare supplies to those that cannot afford them, and raise Breast Cancer awareness.
Heitkamp said she would support a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution "with exceptions" if elected. Heitkamp said such exceptions would include wartime spending, Social Security, Medicare, and a ban on tax cuts for those making more than $1 million per year.
Heitkamp announced in a campaign press release in 2012 that she supports the Buffett Rule. Heitkamp supports implementing the Buffett Rule via the Paying a Fair Share Act, which would require those making a gross income of $1,000,000 or more to pay at least a 30% federal tax rate.
Heitkamp said she supports the Keystone XL pipeline because it will create jobs, decrease America's dependence on foreign oil from the Middle East, and help drive down the national debt. She also said many who oppose hydraulic fracturing have been exposed to "junk science" and do not know what it really is.
On April 11, 2013, Heitkamp explained in an interview that she intended to vote against the Manchin-Toomey amendment introduced in the Senate after the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting, which would have amended the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act to require universal background checks for all firearm purchases. Heitkamp stated, "I’m going to represent my state. ... in the end it’s not what any other senator believes. It’s about what the people of North Dakota believe."
|North Dakota U.S. Senate Election 2012|
|North Dakota Gubernatorial Election 2000|
- "In North Dakota, a Competitive Contest for Senate". nytimes.com. September 30, 2012. Retrieved November 10, 2012.
- "Mary 'Heidi' Kathryn Heitkamp". The Washington Times.
- Miller, Sean J. (January 7, 2010). "Heitkamp 'very interested' in rematch with Hoeven". The Hill.
- McPike, Erin (March 3, 2010). "Heitkamp Won't Run In ND". The Hotline. Retrieved March 3, 2010.
- Daum, Kristen M (November 8, 2011). "SPECULATION NO MORE: Heitkamp announces U.S. Senate run". Flickertales from The Hill. Retrieved November 8, 2011.
- Democrat Heidi Heitkamp defeats Republican Rick Berg to win US Senate race in North Dakota Associated Press November 7, 2012
- "Election Night in North Dakota". kfyrtv.com. 7 November 2012. Retrieved 10 November 2012.
- "HEITKAMP, Mary Kathryn (Heidi)". Washington, D.C.: Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. January 3, 2013. Retrieved Jsnusty 8, 2013.
- Heidi Heitkamp biography at Dakota Gasification Company
- "ND Tax Commissioner Race - Nov 08, 1988". Our Campaigns. Retrieved November 11, 2011.
- "ND Attorney General Race - Nov 03, 1992". Our Campaigns. Retrieved November 11, 2011.
- "ND Attorney General Race - Nov 05, 1996". Our Campaigns. Retrieved November 11, 2011.
- "Attorneys General announce Tobacco Settlement Proposal" (Press release). Washington State Office of the Attorney General. November 16, 2998.
- "ND Governor Race - Nov 07, 2000". Our Campaigns. Retrieved November 11, 2011.
- Smith, Nick (October 7, 2012). "Heitkamp campaigns on problem solving over partisanship". bismarcktribune.com. Retrieved November 10, 2012.
- Nelson, Eliot (January 3, 2013). "Heidi Heitkamp Sworn In To Senate, Awkwardness Ensues". huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
- Haga, Chuck (January 18, 2011). "Conrad's current Senate term his last". Grand Forks Herald. Retrieved December 28, 2011.
- "ND Democrat Heidi Heitkamp to run for US Senate". Yahoo! News. Associated Press. November 8, 2011. Retrieved November 11, 2011.
- Camia, Catalina (November 8, 2011). "Democrats promote Heitkamp in N.D. Senate race". USA Today. Retrieved November 11, 2011.
- James Hohmann (16 August 2012). "Ryan welcomes Medicare fight--Obama defends Biden--Crossroads hits Heitkamp--First DCCC IE of the cycle--Sabato says Wisconsin Senate leans Republican". Politico.
- Eccher, Marino (November 7, 2012). "Berg concedes Senate race, averting recount". Forum Communications. Retrieved January 6, 2013.
- "2011 – 2013 North Dakota Secretary of State Recount Guidelines". vip.sos.nd.gov. August 2011. Retrieved November 10, 2012. "NDCC § 16.1-16-01(2)(b) Demand Recounts – If an individual fails to be elected by more than 0.5% but less than 2% of the vote cast for the candidate receiving the most votes for the office sought."
- McElwaine, Sandra (23 January 2014). "Never Bet Against Senator Heidi Heitkamp, North Dakota’s Rising Star". The Daily Beast. Retrieved 9 April 2014.
- Rachel Weiner (18 June 2012). "Heidi Heitkamp runs with Obamacare". Washington Post.
- Toeplitz, Shira (18 June 2012). "North Dakota: New Heidi Heitkamp Spot Tackles Health Care". Roll Call. Retrieved 5 September 2012.
- Mike Nowatzki (28 October 2012). "Poll: 60% in ND oppose Obamacare". The Dickinson Express. Retrieved 21 October 2013.
- Mike Nowatzki (2 October 2013). "ND delegation members call for compromise to end gov't shutdown". The Dickinson Press. Retrieved 17 October 2013.
- Mike Nowatzki (October 16, 2013). "Heitkamp on Senate debt limit deal: ‘The adults are taking charge’". Grand Forks Herald. Retrieved October 17, 2013.
- O'Keefe, Ed (28 February 2014). "10 ways members gave back after the government shutdown". Washington Post. Retrieved 13 August 2014.
- Celock, John (13 September 2012). "Heidi Heitkamp, North Dakota Senate Candidate, Touts Obama Independence In New Ad". huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved 9 November 2012.
- "Heitkamp Challenges Rep. Berg: Focus on Deficit Reduction and Support Buffett Rule, Not Cutting Your Own Taxes". heidifornorthdakota.com. 9 April 2012. Retrieved 9 November 2012.
- "Two freshmen Democrats wobbly now on the talking filibuster". dailykos.com. Retrieved 5 January 2013.
- "Heitkamp warns Obama on Keystone XL Pipeline approval". USA Today. September 27, 2013. Retrieved October 17, 2013.
- Michael, McAuliff (13 September 2012). "Heidi Heitkamp Fracking Views Clash With Major Donors' Interest". huffingtonpost.com. Retrieved 9 November 2012.
- Robillard, Kevin (5 April 2013). "Two more Democratic senators endorse gay marriage". Politico. Retrieved 5 April 2013.
- Weisman, Jonathan (11 April 2013). "For Swing-State Democrats, Political Liability on Gun Control Issue". New York Times. Retrieved 12 April 2013.
- "Official Portal for North Dakota State Government - Secretary of State - Election Night Results - November 6, 2012". 15 November 2012. Retrieved 1 December 2012.
- "NORTH DAKOTA'S OFFICIAL ABSTRACT OF VOTES CAST AT THE GENERAL ELECTION HELD ON NOVEMBER 7, 2000". nd.gov. Retrieved 1 December 2012.
- Senator Heidi Heitkamp official U.S. Senate site
- Heidi Heitkamp for Senate
- Heidi Heitkamp at DMOZ
- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Profile at Project Vote Smart
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Legislation sponsored at The Library of Congress
|Tax Commissioner of North Dakota
|Attorney General of North Dakota
|Party political offices|
|Democratic Party nominee for Governor of North Dakota
|Democratic Party nominee for U.S. Senator from North Dakota
|United States Senate|
|U.S. Senator (Class 1) from North Dakota
Served alongside: John Hoeven
|United States order of precedence (ceremonial)|
as U.S. Senator from Nebraska
|Current order of Precedence of the United States||Succeeded by
as U.S. Senator from Massachusetts
|United States Senators by seniority