Amidst ND Voter Woes: Heitkamp loses Senate seat to Republican Kevin Cramer
As the first woman elected as Senator after the 2012 election, Democratic Senator Heidi Heitkamp has lost her seat to Republican Kevin Cramer by a margin of 55.4% (178,876 votes) won by Cramer and 44.6% (143,737 votes) for Heitkamp.
CNN called the win last night. Screen Capture CNN
Heitkamp, who won by a narrow margin in 2012, was shadowed by a Supreme Court decision to restrict voters laws in North Dakota for tribal citizens who did not have a street address listed on their ID cards.
Heitkamp called the legal move shortly before the midterm election as "voter disenfranchisement" and alerted the media she had been long seeking to introduce voter legislation for tribal citizens to ensure fair voting practices in their regional areas.
See previous coverage:In wake of new Voter ID law: Mad rush to repair Native voting woes in N. Dakota
Heitkamp was considered vulnerable in North Dakota since Donald Trump had won the state by 36%, and because she had voted in opposition to the nomination of Supreme Court candidate Brett Kavanaugh. Senator Heitkamp had argued to the press that she had to vote against Kavanaugh "to be able to look at herself in the mirror at night."
In Heitkamp's campaign, Senator Tom Udall, the Democratic Senator for New Mexico, came out publicly, traveled to North Dakota and had been actively campaigning for Senator Heidi Heitkamp. He told Indian Country Today, "Senator Heitkamp is a champion for Native Americans, especially Native children."
In Heitkamp's campaign, Senator Tom Udall, the Democratic Senator for New Mexico, came out publicly, traveled to North Dakota and had been actively campaigning for Senator Heidi Heitkamp. Courtesy photo
During her run as Senator, Heitkamp -- who put through legislation that became law to create a Native Commission on Children, as well as efforts in Indian Country such as Savannah's Law (to create a database of Missing and Murdered Native American women) increased Amber Alerts in Indian Country -- now, according to Senator Udall, leaves the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs' efforts in a state of limbo.
As reported by CNN: Cramer ran towards Trump throughout the race, looking to tap into the same base of voters that propelled him to the White House in 2016. Cramer accused Heitkamp of being out of step with North Dakota voters, slamming some of her votes on abortion and against the Republican tax plan.
Trump had rallied in North Dakota three times in support of Congressman Cramer in an effort to energize Republican voters.
Follow Indian Country Today’s associate editor Vincent Schilling (Akwesasne Mohawk) on Twitter -@VinceSchilling
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