Kris Cramer: Heidi Heitkamp Has Hit a New Low


This guest post was submitted by Kris Cramer, wife of U.S. Senate candidate Kevin Cramer and manager for his campaign.

In 2012, I gave up my career and began working on Kevin’s campaigns in a professional capacity as campaign manager.  Recently, Senator Heitkamp’s campaign hit a shameful new low with the release of a television ad specifically targeting me and the fact that I get paid for my work on Kevin’s campaign.

Clearly, Senator Heitkamp is only supportive of women when it suits her political objectives. Should I not have worked in that role just because I’m Kevin Cramer’s wife?  Worse yet, should I have not been paid for my work just because I am his wife? I’m disappointed to think that Sen. Heitkamp would diminish a woman’s role like this and insinuate that it is somehow wrong for a woman, any woman, to be compensated for her work.

[mks_pullquote align=”left” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#ffffff” txt_color=”#000000″]I stand in full support of working women everywhere and encourage Senator Heitkamp to do the same, not just when politically expedient.[/mks_pullquote]

Let me be clear: for Senator Heitkamp to attack my work as Kevin’s campaign manager is an affront to all professional women, especially those working side-by-side with their spouses in the thousands of small businesses and family farms across our state.

I am well-qualified to join Kevin in this endeavor. I have a master’s degree in speech communication and have worked all my adult life in marketing and communications. I also have organizational management experience.

I am gratified and proud of the work I did as my husband’s campaign manager in the election cycles of 2012, 2014 and 2016. We won all three of those elections and I was able to utilize my skills and education to propel our campaign to victory for the good of the people of North Dakota. In doing this work, we were always efficient with the use of donor funds understanding how people trusted us to use these resources wisely.

Hence why I’m deeply disappointed that Heidi Heitkamp has chosen to diminish my qualifications, my professional record of experience and success to boost her own campaign. She has chosen to tear down another woman in service of her political ambition and her seemingly, “win-at-any-cost mentality.”  Just because I’m a woman and a wife, does not mean I didn’t earn my salary as a campaign manager and political strategist.

As typical of the ads we’ve seen coming from her campaign, Sen. Heitkamp also went to great lengths to sensationalize her attack by making the amount I was paid seem like a giant one-time payment rather than monthly compensation over several years.

I firmly believe this escalation in negative rhetoric, demonizing a working professional who just happens to be a woman and drawing our family into the political fray is a shameful development. The people of our state don’t deserve it and my family doesn’t deserve it. We must demand better from Senator Heitkamp.

I want to make it clear that I will not take a back seat in my involvement in my husband’s campaigns and my professional career simply because of who I am. I stand in full support of working women everywhere and encourage Senator Heitkamp to do the same, not just when politically expedient.