Democrat Heckaman says lieutenant governor run ‘a possibility’; announcement expected next week
BISMARCK - The No. 2 Democrat in the North Dakota Senate said Thursday it's "a possibility" she will run for lieutenant governor, a day after fellow Democratic state lawmaker Marvin Nelson announced his bid for the governor's office.
BISMARCK – The No. 2 Democrat in the North Dakota Senate said Thursday it’s “a possibility” she will run for lieutenant governor, a day after fellow Democratic state lawmaker Marvin Nelson announced his bid for the governor’s office.
“I think that there’ll be an announcement maybe early next week on that,” Assistant Minority Leader Joan Heckaman said in a phone interview. “I won’t confirm right now. I think it needs to come out from the state party.”
Blogger and former Democratic-NPL Party executive director Jim Fuglie wrote this week at theprairieblog.areavoices.com that Nelson, a House lawmaker from Rolla, has a running mate who is a state senator and that she is “also a very credible legislator.”
Democrats currently have four women in the Senate, including Heckaman, a retired math teacher from New Rockford.
Senators Connie Triplett of Grand Forks, Erin Oban of Bismarck and Carolyn Nelson of Fargo all told Forum News Service on Thursday they’re not running for lieutenant governor – though Nelson joked, “I am seconding the nomination.”
“I think she’d be terrific,” she said of Heckaman.
“She’s a quick study on everything,” she added, noting Heckaman serves on the important Senate Appropriations Committee. “She’s very ethical. She’s very precise. She does her homework, and she’s got a sense of humor.”
Heckaman represents District 23, which covers Eddy, Nelson, Griggs and Steele counties and part of Benson County in east-central North Dakota, including the Spirit Lake Indian Reservation.
She was elected to the Senate in 2006 and re-elected in 2010 and 2014. If she runs for lieutenant governor and loses, she will still have two years left to serve in her Senate term.
The three Republicans seeking their party’s endorsement – state Rep. Rick Becker of Bismarck, Fargo businessman Doug Burgum and Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem – have yet to announce running mates.
Both parties will endorse their candidates at their state conventions in about two weeks.