Print Column: Forget Governor, Is Heitkamp Angling for a Cabinet Appointment?


MINOT, N.D. — Recently Joel Heitkamp, brother of former U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, has been begging the question about whether or not his sister will run for governor.

It’s a business move. Anyone who has seen the numbers knows Heitkamp’s radio audience is so old it’s shrinking due to death. He’s trying to wring the last bit of relevance he can get out of the sunset of his sister’s career.

Many people think Heitkamp really does have her eyes on the 2020 gubernatorial race, which will also include incumbent Republican Doug Burgum once he gets around to announcing a re-election campaign.

I’m one of them.

In April I wrote that Heitkamp’s involvement in the One Country Project was about rehabilitating her public image after a stinging election loss in the 2018 U.S. Senate race, with an eye toward launching a gubernatorial campaign in the coming months.

What if something else is true?

Continue reading…