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Published November 08, 2012, 01:37 PM

Heitkamp: Cass County 'made the difference' in Senate win

FARGO – Through a throng of jubilant supporters, someone called out what most of the room was thinking: “Senator Heitkamp!”

By: Marino Eccher, INFORUM, Forum Staff Reports, inforum.com

FARGO – Through a throng of jubilant supporters, someone called out what most of the room was thinking: “Senator Heitkamp!”

Heidi Heitkamp, hoarse from the final days of her campaign but jubilant herself, said the credit lay with the people cheering her on.

“To the extent people are calling this historic, to the extent people are calling this an upset, pat yourselves on the back,” she told a packed crowd at Fargo’s Teamsters Hall this morning.

It was the first of four planned stops throughout the state today, her first public comments since U.S. Rep. Rick Berg conceded the U.S. Senate race to the Democrat on Wednesday.

Heitkamp acknowledged the critical role Cass County played in her victory. She carried the county by nearly 9,900 votes, building a cushion that absorbed Berg’s advantages elsewhere in race decided by less than 3,000 votes.

“We know that Cass County made the difference,” she said.

She also struck a conciliatory tone after a campaign marked by withering attacks from both sides. Heitkmap praised both Berg and U.S. Sen. John Hoeven, a Berg backer, for calling her Wednesday after the results came in.

“Congressman Berg called me yesterday, and did a terrific job wishing us all well,” she said.

In remarks to reporters afterward, Heitkamp said she’s “probably still in shock” over the narrow win.

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