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Published February 18, 2012, 05:17 PM

Heidi Heitkamp makes first campaign stop in Grand Forks

Grand Forks, ND (WDAY TV) -- A US Senate hopeful is making her first campaign stop in Grand Forks, since announcing her candidacy. Heidi Heitkamp spoke to fellow democrats on key issues at the district convention.

By: Melanie Orlins, WDAZ, WDAY

Grand Forks, ND (WDAY TV) -- A US Senate hopeful is making her first campaign stop in Grand Forks, since announcing her candidacy. Heidi Heitkamp spoke to fellow democrats on key issues at the district convention.

As Senator Kent Conrad leaves Washington, the race for his seat will become very closely watched. Right now, it's expected to be a tight race between Republican candidate Rick Berg and Heidi Heitkamp on the Democrat side. This morning, Heitkamp asked for support at the Grand Forks district meeting.

Heidi: "I think I have the experience, I've obviously spent a lot of time working for the people of North Dakota and have a great passion."

Heitkamp is using her diversity as former attorney general and candidate for governor as an advantage. Her job as Director of Dakota Gasification is an issue where her knowledge on energy could win votes.

Heidi: "Needs to involve renewable, winds, solar, it needs to involve coal."

She also believes the nation needs to stray away from depending on foreign oil.

Heidi: "We need to make sure that we have a domestic supply of petroleum because we know what happens when we're completely dependent on foreign oil."

Heitkamp notes a big part of North Dakota is agriculture.

Heidi: "I don't want anyone to forget how important that farmer is."

Her next step in campaigning besides working to secure the vote is talking about issues she believes other candidates won't talk about, like working mothers, something she can relate to.

Heidi: "And you might say oh well here we go those are girl issues but they're not they're economic issues."

Energy, oil, and keeping women in the workplace are what she will focus on during her campaign. And in the months to come, North Dakotans will watch a race that's expected to be close.

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