North Dakota Sen. Heitkamp says no run for governor

AP News
Posted: Sep 09, 2015 11:49 AM

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota says she won't run for governor, a setback for Democrats' hopes of claiming the state's top office.

Heitkamp said Wednesday she wouldn't seek the seat being vacated by Republican Jack Dalrymple, who isn't seeking re-election. Heitkamp, in a call-in to her brother Joel's radio show on KFGO-AM, said it wasn't the right time.

Heitkamp's decision leaves her party scrambling for a top candidate. The 59-year-old is a rare Democrat who has been successful in recent years in conservative North Dakota.

But Heitkamp's decision is good news for national Democrats. If she had left the Senate to run, it could have complicated Democrats' chances of retaking the chamber in 2016.