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John Abrams , Published October 20 2012

Letter: Heitkamp for Senate and for ND

North Dakotans will soon decide who will represent them in the U.S. Senate for the next six years. My experience is in leading and supporting leaders in the military, government and industry for more than 40 years. I have worked with some of the best leaders around the world in peace and war. Heidi Heitkamp understands these issues for North Dakota and for our nation.

I endorse Heitkamp because she will be a fighter to protect North Dakota’s bases and National Guard. Her leadership will be exactly right to work with congressional colleagues on both sides of the aisle to achieve the proper balance in readiness and capability to secure our national interests for an uncertain future.

I lead a small management consulting company dedicated to supporting those entrusted with the security of our nation. I asked Heitkamp to join our company following Hurricane Katrina. The U.S. faces challenges from manmade disasters to acts of terror, and we needed Heitkamp to provide perspective on issues confronting America’s communities.

In North Dakota, strong leadership is needed to ensure that both the agriculture and oil industries can thrive for North Dakotans. The type of leader the state needs at this time is clear. North Dakota needs a leader with strength of character, independence, straight talk, strong work ethic, intellectual honesty, openness to opposing views, and who is in touch with the people they represent and frugal with the taxpayers’ money. As someone who has worked with Heitkamp, I know she has these characteristics.

As our nation transitions from war to preventing war, the military budget will be scrutinized. The challenge for Congress will focus on determining what constitutes a military for our national security and fund it accordingly for an uncertain future. Leaders cannot predict the future but the good ones, like Heitkamp, know how to prepare for it.

As in times past when we were successful in reshaping our military for times between major commitments to war, we had leaders who would dedicate themselves to the interests of national security and determined to work in bipartisan for our common defense.

Heitkamp has the right set of qualities to lead in Congress and represent North Dakota’s interests. Her character is unimpeachable, and her commitment to North Dakota residents and communities is second to none.


Abrams, general (ret.), U.S. Army, is former commander, U.S. Army Training and Doctrine Command. He is son of former Army Chief of Staff Gen. Creighton Abrams.