Cramer Passes on Senate Run In North Dakota

Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) announced that he will not run for the U.S. Senate, dealing a blow to Senate Republicans and President Trump, the Washington Post reports.

“Cramer, who has been a staunch supporter of Trump dating back to the 2016 presidential campaign and has a higher profile than most Republicans in his state… Trump extensively courted Cramer for the race, even calling his wife and asking him to get in the race.”

North Dakota GOP Struggles to Find Senate Challenger

“In North Dakota, where Donald Trump won in a landslide last year, Republicans’ lone Senate candidate is a little-known state lawmaker — and potato farmer — from a remote town closer to the Canadian border than the state capital,” the AP reports.

“While established Republicans and business leaders in other states Trump carried are running to topple Democratic senators, the GOP is struggling to land a big name in North Dakota to run against Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp in 2018.”

Heitkamp Seen As Trump’s Pick for Agriculture

Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) has emerged as President-elect Donald Trump’s leading choice for Agriculture secretary, Politico reports.

“A special election to replace Heitkamp would almost certainly turn her seat over to a Republican, so the choice would give Trump a chance to appear conciliatory to Democrats, albeit with a lower-profile Cabinet role, while allowing the GOP to bolster its Senate majority.”

For members: Here’s Trump’s Cabinet So Far

North Dakota GOP Wants to Change Succession Law

North Dakota Republicans will propose a bill to change the manner in which open Senate seats are filled, amid rumors that Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D-ND) is considering running for governor in 2016, the Say Anything Blog reports.

Heitkamp would choose her own successor under current law. The proposed change would require Senate vacancies to be filled by special election.