Based on the way the Heidi Heitkamp campaign has been touting it, you’d think the endorsement the incumbent got from Grand Forks Mayor Mike Brown were the biggest development in our nationally noteworthy U.S. Senate race.
Weeks after the endorsement happened on July 11 the Heitkamp campaign is still touting it.
Just like Grand Forks Mayor Mike Brown, I’m all about independent, ND-first results & I’m proud to have his support. Check out his letter about my work for the GF Veteran Center, the GF Air Force Base and to stop online human trafficking.https://t.co/SayEScUGDS
— Heidi Heitkamp (@HeidiHeitkamp) July 31, 2018
I’m tempted to say that the Heitkamp campaign is laser focusing on this one endorsement because they don’t seem to be getting a lot of others. Remember when the Heitkamp campaign tried to make it seem like Williston Mayor Howard Klug had given an endorsement? Klug said he specifically asked them not to characterize his words that way, but they went ahead and did it anyway.
That seems to me like a political campaign which is grasping a bit to get local support in areas where they need it.
But this whole exercise is odd in light of something the candidate herself told reporters for KVRR during an interview broadcast in April. “At the end of the day, I’m not a big believer that endorsements matter especially in a state where you can get a United State Senate seat or win a United States Senate seat with under 200,000 votes,” she said at that time. “The endorsements albeit important, I mean, they make for a good news day but they aren’t how people vote.”
You can see video of the whole interview here.
Heitkamp was responding to a question about President Donald Trump’s endorsement of her opponent Congressman Kevin Cramer, so obviously her intent was to throw some dirt on that. But in doing so she undermined her own campaign’s efforts to get endorsements such as Brown’s.
Why should local officials go out on a limb and endorse a candidate who says those endorsements aren’t very important?