A Republican state lawmaker says a rumored possible run for governor by U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp in 2016 “was on my mind” when he drafted a bill that would require a special election to fill a vacant congressional seat instead of allowing the governor to appoint a replacement. State Rep. Roscoe Streyle of Minot said he plans to introduce a bill when the Legislature reconvenes next week that would require the governor to call a special election within 60 days to fill a sudden opening in the U.S. Senate or House of Representatives. “The people should decide who their representative is, not the governor,” he said. Streyle said he has “absolutely no idea” if Heitkamp is mulling a run for governor, but added that “everybody’s talking about it” because nobody knows if Gov. Jack Dalrymple will seek a second term in office. “It was on my mind when I put it together just because it’s a possibility, but I think it’s more of a total holistic policy as opposed to a single piece of legislation against her,” he said.
Heitkamp lost her previous bid for governor in 2000 to now-U.S. Sen. John Hoeven. Her communications director, Abigail McDonough, said the senator wasn’t available for comment Friday, and Heitkamp hasn’t publicly addressed rumors about a potential run for governor.
“Sen. Heitkamp is focused on her work to fight for North Dakotans in the U.S. Senate,” McDonough said in an emailed statement.
Dalrymple isn’t ready to address whether he’ll run again, spokesman Jeff Zent said.