Heidi Heitkamp grew up in North Dakota and served as State Tax Commissioner and State Attorney General, both elected positions. In each of those contests, she won over 60% of the vote and voters still rate her very favorably.
Heitkamp is remembered more than two-to-one positively for her job as State Attorney General, and has high favorability ratings. As attorney general, she was a leader in the national settlement with the tobacco companies that required them to pay restitution to the states.
Heidi Heitkamp grew up in modest circumstances in North Dakota and is one of seven children. When she was young, she worked for the Equal Rights Amendment and became very interested in the environment. She graduated from Lewis and Clark School of Law in Oregon, which has a special focus on the environment.
Heitkamp became an environmental attorney with the Environmental Protection Agency, but left when Ronald Reagan became President. She realized in stark terms that who is elected makes a real difference. She returned home and began to work for Kent Conrad, who was then state tax commissioner in North Dakota.
At the age of 28, she lost her first election in a close race to become N.D. Auditor. When Conrad ran for the Senate, Heitkamp stepped up to serve as State Tax Commissioner. Two years later she ran for the office and won. She was a popular two-term attorney general, but lost her quest to become North Dakota’s governor in 2000. The contest was close, but she was handicapped when two months before the election she was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer, which has long been in remission.
2012 CLW Senate victories
2012 CLW Senate Victories were;
Tammy Baldwin (D-WI), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Bob Casey (D-PA), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Tim Kaine (D-VA), Angus King (I-ME), Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Chris Murphy (D-CT) Bernie Sanders (I-VT), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), Jon Tester (D-MT), Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Sheldon Whitehouse (D-RI).
The Council said of Heitkamp;
- As a candidate for the U.S. Senate, Heitkamp stands for sensible foreign policy and endorses withdrawal of U.S. combat troops from Afghanistan and the reset of U.S. relations with Russia. She supports ratification of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty and the goal of securing and retrieving vulnerable nuclear-weapons usable materials worldwide within four years.
The Communications Workers of America is to make filibuster reform a top cause and they're trying to bring the rest of the union movement along. The union reiterated that goal in post-election comments.
"The 2012 election makes the reform even more paramount," it said. "Seven Democratic senators-elect - Tammy Baldwin (Wis.), Martin Heinrich (N.M.), Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.), Mazie Hirono (Hawaii), Tim Kaine (Va.), Chris Murphy (Conn.) and Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) - have all already pledged to Sen. Jeff Merkley, D-Ore., to support rules reform. And Maine's Independent candidate, former Gov. Angus King won on a platform included filibuster reform as a major campaign issue.
"The American people want their elected officials to debate and address the major issues of our time and to move past obstruction for obstruction's sake," added CWA Legislative Director Shane Larson.