Nervous Republicans Seek New Senate Candidates

“Republicans worried about holding on to their Senate majority are trying to convince three lawmakers to reconsider their decisions and run for the upper chamber,” The Hill reports.

“Reps. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) and Ann Wagner (R-MO) are being encouraged to launch Senate bids after initially passing on those races, while Sen. Bob Corker (R-TN) is hearing calls to put off his retirement and run for reelection.”

“The last-minute maneuvering suggests the GOP primary fields may not be settled just eight months before the November midterm elections and highlights an increasing nervousness among Republicans that their Senate majority — once seen as nearly invincible  — may be at risk.”

GOP Desperate for New Candidate In North Dakota

“Top Republicans are pleading with Rep. Kevin Cramer (R-ND) to reconsider his decision to spurn the U.S. Senate race in North Dakota, fearing the party is on track to blow a prime pickup opportunity,” the Washington Examiner reports.

“White House officials and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) are making another run at Cramer after internal opposition research on state Sen. Tom Campbell, the leading Republican to run in his place, turned up troubling information they worry could be a treasure trove for Democratic Sen. Heidi Heitkamp.”

GOP Candidate Defends Saying ‘No More Mosques’

North Dakota U.S. Senate candidate Gary Emineth (R) defended in a radio interview sharing an image on Twitter that said no more mosques should be built in the United States.

Said Emineth: “So I just made a statement, I’m a Christian that believes we ought to propagate our Christian faith. So I see an article and I retweet, ‘no more mosques in America,’ you know, and like, and share. So I retweeted it. So yeah. So what? I believe in Christian — I believe in liberties, freedom, free speech, and Christian values is kind of my base. And so yeah, I posted it, so no big deal. I’m not that stressed out over it.”

North Dakota Candidate Blasted ‘Bunch of Arabs’

North Dakota U.S. Senate candidate Gary Emineth (R) shared a story on Facebook in 2014 about anti-Israel protesters clashing with riot police, adding the comment: “Bunch of Arabs… what do you expect?,” according to CNN.

The comment is just one of several inflammatory posts Emineth, the former North Dakota Republican Party chairman, shared on social media.

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.