“People were all over Neset yesterday,” a SAB reader who was in attendance at President Donald Trump’s speech in Mandan tells me.
Neset, of course, is geologist and State Board of Higher Education member Kathy Neset who is being recruited by the North Dakota Republican Party for a possible run for the U.S. Senate.
I broke that news back in July, and at the time Neset told me the possibility of a run would be “interesting” but declined to comment further. She certainly didn’t rule it out.
“She always had a crowd around her and people asking her to run, telling her she needed to run,” my source at the Trump speech tells me. “She was also one who got picked to greet the president when he arrived at the refinery. It was fun to see. She worked a crowed very well. Clearly clearly thinking hard about it. She seemed taken aback by the people who approached her.”
Republicans already have state Senator Tom Campbell (he’ll be on my radio show later today) in the mix for the Senate race against incumbent Democrat Heidi Heitkamp, who was singled out by Trump for some light ribbing at that speech yesterday.
But you could wager safely that Republicans will have a contested primary for the seat.
Neset would be a very interesting addition to the field, as I’ve written previously. Her work experience in the energy industry will appeal to a lot of voters, and whatever you think about identity politics – I’m not a fan – her gender would help neutralize “war on women” style attacks from our friends on the left.
If this observer’s two cents are worth anything, I hope Neset runs. Heitkamp, though certainly vulnerable to unseating in 2018, is going to be a tough nut for Republicans to crack. They’d be served well by a competitive primary race among strong, interesting candidates ahead of that race.