WASHINGTON -- U.S. Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., told the Grand Forks Herald Thursday he doesn't expect liberal radio host Ed Schultz will be the Democratic nominee to fill the Senate seat he'll vacate in 2010.

"My own impression is that Ed Schultz enjoys the speculation, but I don't think Ed's going to run for the Senate," Dorgan said.

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North Dakota House Minority Leader Merle Boucher began lobbying Schultz to run for the newly open Senate seat Wednesday morning, less than 24 hours after Dorgan's surprise announcement that he would not seek a fourth term.

Schultz first ruled out a run Tuesday morning on "The Ed Show," his political talk show on MSNBC. He later backpedaled after learning he does meet the Senate's residency requirements despite living primarily in New York City and Detroit Lakes, Minn. But Schultz said he's "a long way from any kind of decision."

"The fact is, Ed Schultz is a big personality with a lot of strong ideas, and if he ever did decide to run for something, I think it would be a mighty interesting race," Dorgan said Thursday. "But I don't expect Ed Schultz to be our candidate for the Senate."

Dorgan said he's discussed a number of potential candidates with North Dakota Democratic leaders, but declined to give any names. Early speculation has focused on former North Dakota Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp, her brother Joel, a radio host and former state legislator from Hankinson, N.D., and Cass County State's Attorney Birch Burdick, among others.

U.S. Rep. Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D., has said he'll run for re-election to his House seat rather than trying to move up to the Senate.

Joe Marks wrote this story for the Grand Forks Herald,

which is owned by

Forum Communications Co.