Former N.D. AG weighing Senate run

Jessica M. Karmasek Oct. 11, 2011, 10:45am


BISMARCK, N.D. (Legal Newsline) - Former North Dakota Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp, who once ran for governor, is now considering a run for the U.S. Senate.

Heitkamp, who served as the state's top lawyer from 1993-2000, told The Associated Press on Monday that she would announce her decision within 30 days.

She would be vying for U.S. Sen. Kent Conrad's seat. Conrad, a Democrat, says he is stepping down next year.

Heitkamp would be the only Democrat running for his seat. According to the AP, Republican U.S. Rep. Rick Berg and businessman Duane Sand are seeking the GOP's endorsement.

Heitkamp worked as an attorney for the federal Environmental Protection Agency from 1980-81, then for the North Dakota Tax Commissioner's Office from 1981-86. She was the state's tax commissioner from 1986-92.

Heitkamp was the state attorney general during a nationwide settlement with tobacco companies.

In 2000, Heitkamp ran for governor, losing to John Hoeven. During her campaign, she was diagnosed with breast cancer, which is now in remission.

Since 2001, she has served as director of the Dakota Gasification Co., which produces natural gas, fertilizers, solvents, phenol, carbon dioxide and other chemicals.

She has a bachelor's degree from the University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, and graduated from the Lewis and Clark Law School in Portland, Ore.

From Legal Newsline: Reach Jessica Karmasek by email at

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