Earlier this year I was the first to report that Border States Electric CEO Tammy Miller was considering seeking the NDGOP’s endorsement to run for the U.S. Senate.
That would mean challenging Democratic incumbent Heidi Heitkamp.
The buzz in political circles is that Miller is close to getting in the race, and that she actually was in Washington D.C. last week to discuss a campaign. Reliable sources tell me the D.C. visit included a stop at the White House, and that an announcement on a Senate campaign may be coming within weeks.
The Trump administration doesn’t make their visitor logs public, unlike the Obama administration, and Miller didn’t show up in Politico’s unofficial (and admittedly incomplete) log.
[mks_pullquote align=”right” width=”300″ size=”24″ bg_color=”#ffffff” txt_color=”#000000″]”Tammy is speaking with a lot of people as she weighs the decision on the senate race, however she is not commenting on the specifics of who or how she will make the decision,” Tom Nelson, Border States Electric spokesman, told me last night when I asked about the White House visit.[/mks_pullquote]
But my source is confident, and Miller’s camp isn’t confirming or denying anything.
“Tammy is speaking with a lot of people as she weighs the decision on the senate race, however she is not commenting on the specifics of who or how she will make the decision,” Tom Nelson, Border States Electric spokesman, told me last night when I asked about the White House visit.
“At this time I do not have any updates to share on my senate race evaluation or decision,” Miller herself told me this morning.
Miller would be a fascinating addition to the Senate race. She’s a very successful businesswoman, with a strong track record for success at Border States which is itself about as non-controversial a corporate entity as you can get.
Heitkamp, who is about as vicious and aggressive a politician as North Dakota has ever produced, likes to play up the “war on women” stuff during her campaigns. While I think most reasonable people find identity politics to be pretty icky, the simple reality is that Miller’s gender would neutralize a lot of those attacks.
It’s hard to credibly accuse a woman like Miller of being anti-woman.
Of course, what we don’t know about Miller are her politics. Where is she at on the key issues? What are her philosophies about governance and public policy? Her biography, and the probability that she’ll be able to raise a lot of money to combat Heitkamp’s out-of-state war chest, are strong factors in her favor. But the whole point of campaigning is governing, and we need to know how Miller would go about doing that.
The only Republican candidate officially in the Senate race at this point is state Senator Tom Campbell of Grafton.