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Published April 14, 2012, 12:23 PM

North Dakota Senate Race Heats Up

Grand Forks, ND (WDAZ TV) - As the North Dakota Senate race heats up, campaign contributions are beginning to skyrocket. Democrat Heidi Heitkamp and Republican Representative Rick Berg are top contenders for the US Senate seat. Combined, the two have raised nearly 4 million dollars.

By: Meagan Millage, WDAY

As the North Dakota Senate race heats up, campaign contributions are beginning to skyrocket. Democrat Heidi Heitkamp and Republican Representative Rick Berg are top contenders for the US Senate seat. Combined, the two have raised nearly 4-million dollars.

Heidi Heitkamp – (D) ND Senate Candidate: "There's going to be a lot of spending. Do I think it's going to be a big factor? No."

Both Democrat Heidi Heitkamp and Republican Representative Rick Berg say big spending is inevitable in their competitive race for the state's open senate seat.

Rick Berg – (R) North Dakota: "Something we've done in the past. But our country is really at a critical crossroads and so it's critical for me to get that message out to North Dakota people."

Heidi Heitkamp – (D) ND Senate Candidate: "I think that in the end you have to be competitive. But in the end you count votes, you don't count money."

Berg raised $943,118 in the first quarter of this year, which means he's received $2.7 million toward his senate run so far.

Heitkamp raised $590,300 in the first quarter of this year, bringing her total to just over $1.1 million so far.

Recently a new Super PAC was formed and the group says it will be spending money to help Berg's senate campaign.

Heidi Heitkamp – (D) ND Senate Candidate: "Obviously they feel a need to really bring in a lot of out of state money to make it happen for him and you know, we'll see where that all ends up, but I think it's really unfortunate."

By Sunday night, all candidates will have their first quarter finances reported to the Federal Election Commission. You can see those reports by going to fec.gov.

Freshman Congressman Rick berg is running against Republican Duane Sand for the GOPUS senate nomination in June.

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