The Koch Brothers and the various groups they fund are a bête noire for our friends on the left. Senator Heidi Heitkamp, currently in the throes of a re-election campaign here in North Dakota, routinely uses messages about those supposedly sinister Koch brothers as a fundraising device. Heck, not so long ago Heitkamp campaign flack Julia Krieger was attacking me on Twitter for supposedly being a part of the Koch brothers cabal.
Back in 2016 the North Dakota Democratic Party, as you might expect, were not fans of President Donald Trump.
MINOT, N.D.—The 2018 election cycle was always going to be a high wire act for incumbent Sen. Heidi Heitkamp. An exercise in peeling off enough Republican voters from her Republican opponent to win without hemorrhaging so many voters from her liberal base that she loses. For added difficulty, Heitkamp must pull this off while campaigning with an actual voting record for the first time in her political career. Remember that the senator's previous experience in elected office was all in the executive branch.
“I take ‘battery acid’ as a compliment,” Senator Heidi Heitkamp says in her latest campaign ad. It’s supposed to be a positive ad – yet another stab at stopping the bleeding in the incumbent’s approval numbers – but I think it’s a little too cute.
Will Gardner's decision to halt his campaign as the Republican candidate for Secretary of State has revealed a lot of ugliness in North Dakota's political circles. Gardner, for those of you who don't know, was convicted of a disorderly conduct charge in 2006. His crime was sneaking around outside of a female dorm peeking into windows. According to one law enforcement officer responding to the incident, Gardner had his pants undone and his shirt untucked. He'd also taken off his belt and left it on the seat of his vehicle along with his wallet.
For days now North Dakota Democrats have – bizarrely, given their party’s white hot hatred of the man at the national level – been bombarding the public with messaging suggesting that President Donald Trump likes Senator Heidi Heitkamp more than her Republican opponent Kevin Cramer.
Earlier this month a Grand Forks woman was found dead in her home with her three children. A law enforcement investigation later revealed that the woman, Astra Volk, had killed her children and then herself . Now we learn that Volk purchased the gun used to kill herself and her children from a pawn shop the day before.
On my radio show Monday, as I discussed Republican Will Gardner's departure from the Secretary of State race, I tried to remember the last time a Democrat had won an election for an executive branch office North Dakota. I couldn't do it. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp was the last Democrat to win a statewide election for federal office, having earned her first term back in 2012. Former Congressman Earl Pomeroy won re-election to the U.S. House in 2008.
Over the weekend Republican Secretary of State candidate Will Gardner ended his campaign after a bombshell report in the Fargo Forum detailing a disorderly conduct conviction for some very creepy behavior on the NDSU campus back in 2006 .
UPDATE: Gardner has withdrawn from the race, though as I note below I don’t believe he can get his name off of the primary ballot at this time.