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Forum and wire reports, Published November 07 2012

After day in private, Heitkamp to hold Thursday news conferences

MANDAN, N.D. — After scratching out a victory in North Dakota's hotly contested U.S. Senate race, Democrat Heidi Heitkamp wasn't seen Wednesday but plans a series of news conferences Thursday.

Heitkamp was refusing to talk to reporters earlier Wednesday. She passed along messages through campaign workers that she's taking Wednesday off to be with her family and will answer questions Thursday.

Late this afternoon, Heitkamp's spokesman announced she'd be holding four news conferences across the state, starting with a 10 a.m. availability n Fargo.

Campaign workers gathered at the new senator's Mandan home for a celebration Wednesday, but people at the house said Heitkamp wasn't there. Her nearby campaign headquarters was locked, and her press spokesman said Heitkamp was elsewhere.

Republican Rep. Rick Berg was favored to win the race, but he conceded Wednesday that he'd lost. Heitkamp prevailed by about 3,000 votes.

Heitkamp released a statement commending Berg, thanking North Dakotans and promising to work hard as a senator.