North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple has, along with 14 other governors, signed a letter to President Barack Obama (see below) opposing his controversial deal with Iran.
“The lifting of federal sanctions that will result from this agreement will only result in Iran having more money available to fund terrorist groups and attacks,” the letter states. “The people of our states will not be safer as a result of this agreement, much less citizens of countries like Israel which Iran has threatened to destroy.”
The Iran deal is interesting politics for North Dakota.
On one hand, the deal is without a doubt bad for one of the state’s major industries. Lifting sanctions on Iran means that country can export more oil. That has implications for global oil prices even as oil producers operating here in North Dakota are prohibited from exporting their product.
On the other hand the only Democrat elected statewide in North Dakota – Senator Heidi Heitkamp – has come out in favor of the deal (Senator John Hoeven opposes it, and Rep. Kevin Cramer ripped Heitkamp for her support yesterday). Heitkamp is also considering a campaign to replace Dalrymple, who is retiring, in 2016.
That the ever cautious Dalrymple would take such a pronounced stand on the Iran deal speaks to his sense of where the North Dakota public is on this issue. It also may speak volumes when it comes to whether or not Heitkamp chooses to run in 2016.
Because this Iran vote would almost certainly be an issue in that campaign, though it would likely be a non-issue in 2018 when Heitkamp is due for re-election to her Senate seat.
Meanwhile, this from Forum reporter Mike Nowatzki:
— Mike Nowatzki (@mikenowatzki) September 8, 2015
Can’t imagine that Heitkamp would announce a run for governor from Washington DC. So either she comes back to North Dakota again tomorrow to make her announcement, or she’s not running. Or she misses her own deadline for an announcement and gets to preen in the spotlight a bit longer.