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.
North Dakota drew one step closer Monday to joining a minority of states requiring special elections to fill vacancies in the U.S. Senate. The Senate passed House Bill 1181 by a 27-20 vote. The bill would require the governor to call a special election to be held within 95 days. If the Senate term is set to expire in less than 95 days, no election to fill the vacancy would be needed. A pair of amendments by Democratic-NPL senators failed prior to the final vote. One was to allow for an interim appointment to the Senate, the other would have required elections for all statewide offices.
North Dakota: House passes bill requiring special election for U.S. Senate vacancies | Grand Forks Herald
The North Dakota House backed legislation Tuesday that would require a special election to fill a U.S. Senate vacancy, a bill Democrats have panned as an attempt to dissuade U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp from running for governor in 2016. Representatives voted 67-25 to pass House Bill 1181 after debate over whether the same special-election process applies to U.S. House vacancies. The bill would require the governor to call a special election within 95 days of when a Senate vacancy occurs, unless the vacancy occurs within 95 days of the end of the Senate term, in which case the seat would be filled in the next regular election.
North Dakota: After heated debate House committee endorses special election for Senate vacancy | Grand Forks Herald
After a heated exchange Thursday, a North Dakota House committee narrowly endorsed legislation that would force a special election to fill a U.S. Senate vacancy – a bill Democrats have criticized as a political move to discourage U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp from running for governor in 2016. The bill’s chief sponsor, Rep. Roscoe Streyle, R-Minot, said a possible run for governor by Heitkamp in 2016 “wasn’t the primary reason” for putting House Bill 1181 together, “but it just got me interested in what the process would be.” Heitkamp has been mum on whether she’s considering a run, and her office said Thursday she had no comment.
North Dakota: GOP rep’s bill would prevent governor from filling congressional seats | The Dickinson Press
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.
North Dakota: State will consider election law changes as Heitkamp-for-governor rumors swirl | The Washington Post
The persistent rumor in North Dakota political circles is that Sen. Heidi Heitkamp (D) wants to come home. The freshman senator, elected by a narrow margin in 2012, is said to be considering a run for governor in 2016. The rumor is so pervasive that Republicans will consider a bill in the legislature that would block Heitkamp’s ability to appoint her own successor in the Senate. Current state law allows the governor to appoint a successor if a Senate seat becomes vacant. But under a proposal to be introduced by state Rep. Roscoe Streyle (R), any vacancies would be filled by a special election to be held 60 days after a vacancy is declared.
More than six months after North Dakotans voted in the November general election, U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp lost 174 votes and Gov. Jack Dalrymple gained one. Vote tallies for all statewide races and local races in Walsh County were changed by the State Canvassing Board on Thursday after the federal court system realized in mid-February that Walsh County had 300 more votes cast than the number of voters. Secretary of State Al Jaeger said human error happens, and he thinks the canvassing board has never met this long after an election before.
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.
Republican Rep. Rick Berg said he will not concede the North Dakota Senate race to Democrat Heidi Heitkamp until the state completes its recount process, which would be next Tuesday. “This is a very close election, which is why North Dakota has a process in place to properly count each ballot and officially certify the result. This canvassing process will certify the election and provide an official result. The Berg for Senate campaign will await the results of the canvassing process before making any other announcements regarding the status of the election,” said Berg spokesman Chris Van Guilder in a release issued late Tuesday night.
With all precincts reporting, Democrat Heidi Heitkamp is leading Republican Rep. Rick Berg by only 3,000 votes in the North Dakota Senate race. Heitkamp has 160,752 votes in the initial count, while Berg has 157,758. The close margin between the candidates allows for a recount, and Berg has already vowed not to concede the race until one is completed.
A tight U.S. Senate race in North Dakota between Rick Berg and Heidi Heitkamp has some people talking about a possible recount. There is also talk a recount would create nightmares based on North Dakota’s election rules and the fact it is the only state without voter registration. North Dakota Secretary of State Al Jaeger finds this kind of talk irritating. “We’ve done recounts in the past. We know how to do them. If we have a recount, we are prepared,” said Jaeger, who expects strong scrutiny from political parties and their attorneys if a recount is necessary. And he knows what he will tell them: Look, here’s the law, here’s what we’re going to do and this is the plan we’re going to follow.
A conservative group that helped lead the legal battle that would eventually allow for the creation of super PACs is now working to overturn North Dakota’s ban on election day campaigning, arguing it violates the First Amendment. The Center for Competitive Politics is representing former North Dakota Republican Party Chairman Gary Emineth in a lawsuit Emineth filed in federal court Tuesday to overturn the state law. “We think the law is unconstitutional and it should be invalidated,” Allen Dickerson, the center’s legal director, told The Huffington Post. The suit has garnered opposition from Democrats — including the campaign of Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Heidi Heitkamp — who believe the suit is intended to help Republican Senate nominee Rep. Rick Berg win the seat.