On second thought, Cramer's in North Dakota Senate race

Cheryl Sanders
February 18, 2018

U.S. Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., center, makes his official announcement to run for a U.S. Senate seat in front of a ballroom full of supporters at a local hotel Friday, Feb. 16, 2018, in Bismarck, N.D. Cramer will campaign against incumbent Sen.

The North Dakota seat is seen as a big pickup chance for Republicans.

Despite a personal appeal from Trump, Cramer announced in January he wouldn't run for Senate, citing family considerations and his House seniority.

Republicans now have just a slim majority of 51 seats in the Senate, and if they lose just two of them, the Democrats could regain the majority. Tennessee Sen. Bob Corker is rethinking his decision to retire, with some state Republicans believing he would be a stronger general election candidate than the current GOP front-runner, Rep. Marsha Blackburn.

Cramer, 56, is a former state Republican director and chairman.

Sources tell Valley News Live that Congressman Kevin Cramer will run for the US Senate seat against Heidi Heitkamp.

Cramer represents the most serious threat to Heitkamp in what is expected to be one of the most contended senate races of 2018.

However, Cramer does bring some baggage to the North Dakota race. Heitkamp narrowly won in 2012, and President Donald Trump carried the state by a wide margin in 2016.

Armstrong, the state Republican chairman, said the GOP would still have a shot at defeating Heitkamp if Cramer does not run because she is a Democrat in a heavily Republican state.

Campbell also announced that he will switch to running for the U.S. House of Representatives and enters the House race with early support from 45 North Dakota Republican leaders.

Heitkamp has raised about $7.7 million and has about $4.4 million cash on hand.

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