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Published February 18, 2012, 05:04 PM

Heidi Heitkamp Campaigns in Grand Forks

GRAND FORKS, ND (WDAZ-TV) - Heidi Heitkamp made her first stop in Grand Forks since announcing her run for U.S. Senate.

GRAND FORKS, ND (WDAZ-TV) - Heidi Heitkamp made her first stop in Grand Forks since announcing her run for U.S. Senate.

Grand Forks' Democratic District Convention meeting took place this morning where Heitkamp weighed in on some popular issues.

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.

"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," said U.S. Senate Candidate, Heidi Heitkamp.

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.

"Needs to involve renewable, winds, solar, it needs to involve coal," said Heitkamp.

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

"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," said Heitkamp.

Heitkamp notes a big part of North Dakota is agriculture.

"I don't want anyone to forget how important that farmer is," said Heitkamp.

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.

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

Energy, oil, and keeping women in the workplace are what she'll focus on during her campaign. A poll from November showed Heitkamp was ahead 5% over House Representative Rick Berg. In the months to come, North Dakota residents will watch a competitive campaign.