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Published February 04 2010

Heitkamp still looking at possible US Senate bid

Former North Dakota Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp said Wednesday she is still deciding whether to run as a Democratic candidate for the U.S. Senate.

After the sudden retirement announcement of Sen. Byron Dorgan in early January, Heitkamp released an initial media statement acknowledging that she was considering a bid for his seat.

Heitkamp reiterated that sentiment when reached at her home Wednesday.

“I really don’t have any comment. We’re still in the same pattern of wait and see,” Heitkamp said. “Hang in there, and I promise that when this thing gets a little bit closer, I will let people know.

“Obviously, I’ve written about that you can’t wait on these decisions, but by the same token, none of us knew three weeks ago that there would be an opportunity like that,” she added.

Many North Dakota Democrats have urged the former gubernatorial candidate to make a Senate bid, and several potential candidates said they are waiting on Heitkamp’s decision before declaring their own intentions.

State Sen. Tracy Potter, Bismarck, is expected to become the first Democrat to declare for the race during a news conference scheduled for Friday.