After a long night of watching agonizingly close results roll in, U.S. Rep Rick Berg conceded North Dakota’s tightly contested U.S. Senate race to Democrat Heidi Heitkamp Wednesday afternoon. The decision headed off a potential recount that could have cost tens of thousands of dollars and dragged the contentious campaign out for another month.Speaking before the monthly luncheon gathering of the United Republican Committee of Cass County at Fargo’s Holiday Inn, Berg total a crowd of emotional supporters the margin of about 3,000 votes between him and Heitkamp was likely to hold up.
“There’s not much that’s going to change in that outcome,” he said. He later told reporters he called Heitkamp that morning to congratulate her.
In a statement, Heitkamp thanked Berg for his service in congress and his role in the race, and promised to represent all North Dakotans.
“I salute Congressman Berg for putting his ideas out there, and giving voters a clear choice in this election,” she said in the statement.
The vote tallies were close enough that Berg could have demanded a recount.