Heidi Heitkamp To Announce Decision On Governor Race Today, And She's Probably Not Running UPDATED: Not Running

heidi heitkamp

UPDATE: Heitkamp says officially that she’s not running.

According to the Bismarck Tribune’s Nick Smith, Senator Heidi Heitkamp will appear on her brother’s left-wing radio show later this morning to make an announcement on her 2016 intentions.

My guess, based on this earlier tweet from Fargo Forum reporter Mike Nowtazki, is that Heitkamp is probably going to announce that she isn’t running:

It’s hard to imagine that Heitkamp would announce a run for governor during a call-in to a radio show from Washington DC.

Of course, Heitkamp’s answer today isn’t necessarily definitive. She could be saying “no” now with the expectation that Democrats, who really have no other competitive potential candidates, draft her before their convention in the spring.

This would give Heitkamp some political cover on two different fronts.

On one hand, remember that Congressman Rick Berg, who lost to Heitkamp in 2012, got a lot of criticism over the perception that he was being a bit to ambitious running for the Senate after just one term in the House. Heitkamp and her surrogates, specifically, hit him repeatedly on this issue. So Heitkamp would need to explain why she’s leaving her Senate term early to run for governor. If she’s drafted that looks less like an act of calculated ambition than acquiescing to popular demand.

On the other hand, you know Heitkamp is getting an intense amount of pressure from national Democrats not to abandon her Senate seat to likely Republican take over. Again, being supposedly drafted by Democrat activists might be a way to defuse some of that tension.

How likely is this scenario? Not very, but possible.