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Published January 07, 2010, 06:38 PM

Former ND AG Heitkamp Interested in Senate Race

Former ND AG Heitkamp interested in Senate race

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Former North Dakota Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp says she's interested in running for North Dakota's open U.S. Senate seat, but the Democrat is not close to deciding whether to do so.

Heitkamp's interest could lead to a ballot rematch with Republican Gov. John Hoeven.

Hoeven is expected to get into the race to succeed Democratic Sen. Byron Dorgan, who is not running. Hoeven defeated Heitkamp in 2000 in his first race for governor.

In a statement Thursday, Heitkamp said the "discussion has just begun" on whether she will run. She says she's talking with her family and party activists about running.

Heitkamp says the idea of running for an office that requires spending a great deal of time in Washington gives her pause.

Copyright 2010 The Associated Press.