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Forum staff reports, Published August 29 2012

Fargo man eyes write-in Senate campaign

FARGO – Bill Kiefer, a retired Fargo businessman, is running for the open North Dakota U.S. Senate seat as a write-in candidate.

Kiefer will run as a “total independent,” with no party affiliation.

Former Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp, a Democrat, and Rep. Rick Berg, a Republican, are running for the seat of retiring Sen. Kent Conrad, a Democrat.

Kiefer plans to officially announce his bid today in his hometown of Forman before widening his campaign.

“My goal is to have a public and open forum in every county in the state,” Kiefer said. “If the other candidates want to be there when I have some of these, that’s up to them.”

If elected, Kiefer said he hopes to immediately write a bill to change campaign rules.

“I propose all campaigns be reduced to two months. If I win, I’ll have proof it can be done,” he said.

Kiefer led a group in 2010 that attempted to combine North Dakota State University and University of North Dakota.

Kiefer said all voters have to do is write his name on the ballot. He plans to register with the secretary of dtate to ensure his name is counted Nov. 6.