Former North Dakota Democratic attorney general and tax commissioner Heidi Heitkamp says she will make a run for the U.S. Senate.

The 56-year-old Heitkamp made it official Tuesday, saying in a statement that Washington is "badly broken." She will seek the party's endorsement for the seat held by longtime Democratic incumbent Kent Conrad, who is retiring next year.

Former University of North Dakota teacher and current Presbyterian lay pastor Thomas Potter of Grand Forks also is seeking the Democratic endorsement. Freshman U.S. Rep. Rick Berg and Bismarck businessman Duane Sand are competing for the Republican endorsement to run for Conrad's seat.

Heitkamp ran for governor in 2000 but lost to Republican John Hoeven, who is now a colleague of Conrad's in the Senate.