- The Washington Times - Thursday, January 11, 2018

Rep. Kevin Cramer on Thursday bucked expectations and announced he wouldn’t challenge Sen. Heidi Heitkamp in this year’s North Dakota Senate race.

Mr. Cramer, North Dakota Republican, was prodded by President Trump to run against the first-term incumbent Democrat in a state that the president carried by 36 points in 2016.

“We’ve decided that the best thing for our family and me and really for North Dakota … is to seek re-election to the House of Representatives,” Mr. Cramer said on KFYR radio in Bismarck.

Mrs. Heitkamp is one of the vulnerable Senate Democrats up for re-election in a year when Republicans are fighting to hold onto a narrow 51-seat majority in the upper chamber.

Mr. Cramer’s decision to stay in the House leaves the Senate race without a Republican contender with statewide name recognition. Mr. Cramer holds the state’s only House seat.

State Sen. Tom Campbell has announced his candidacy for the GOP nomination for U.S. Senate.

“I’m not the only person who can win the Senate seat. I want Republicans to understand that,” Mr. Cramer told KFYR radio host Scott Hennen. “This is a seat we can win in this election cycle.”

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