Former North Dakota Democratic Party Chairman Says Senator Heitkamp’s Rejection of #TheResistance Is “Final Straw”


Senator Heidi Heitkamp at Cirrus Aircrafts' celebration Tuesday, December 20 in Grand Forks, N.D. (Jesse Trelstad/Grand Forks Herald)

I’ve been writing for some time now about a hard-left faction of the North Dakota Democratic Party being unhappy with Senator Heidi Heitkamp.

The only Democrat, I should point out, who has won an election on North Dakota’s statewide ballot since 2008.

SAB readers will remember that during the Democratic National Committee convention in 2016 a group of North Dakota delegates approved what was described as a “harsh resolution” condemning Heitkamp saying she was “disrespectful to the people of our great state” for supporting presidential candidate Hillary Clinton over Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.

Also in November of 2015 certain Democrats, including former state party chairman Bob Valeu, were telling the media that they didn’t think Heitkamp’s voting record was far enough to the left.

Earlier this year Heitkamp was heckled at a party reorganization meeting in Bismarck. Now, in response to Heitkamp’s comments yesterday calling the progressive resistance to the Trump administration a waste of time, Valeu has posted on Facebook that he’s apparently done with Heitkamp.

It’s remarkable that a former leader of the North Dakota Democratic Party is, in such a very public fashion, cutting ties with Heitkamp. The only Democrat currently holding statewide office in North Dakota.

Remarkable for two reasons.

One, it shows just how thoroughly Heitkamp has alienated some factions of the Democratic base in North Dakota with her posturing as a moderate.

Second, it demonstrates just how far to the left some North Dakota Democrats have gone.

Why can’t they win elections in North Dakota? It’s because they aren’t even out in left field any more, ideologically speaking. They’re out in the left field bleachers.