WASHINGTON -- Democrat Heidi Heitkamp emerged with a long-shot Senate victory in North Dakota, a Republican stronghold that the GOP considered one of its best opportunities to pick up a seat. But the results were close enough that the Republican can demand a recount.
Heitkamp, the state’s former attorney general, offered a spirited campaign against Republican Rep. Rick Berg with a compelling narrative as a centrist Democrat at odds with President Obama. She had a 3,000-vote margin with all precincts reporting, according to the secretary of state’s office.
Berg is a freshman at-large member of the House who won office in 2010 on the tea party wave and a commitment to repeal the nation’s new healthcare law. His campaign declined to comment on the race until election officials conduct a canvass and certify the results early next week.
The congressman ran a lower-profile campaign in the Republican-leaning state, which the party thought would easily land in the GOP column. Late in the campaign, Berg got a boost with an ad from Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney, who won the state.