Heitkamp and Dem-NPL Party officials react to #TrumpFargo rally
WASHINGTON—While her opponent spent Wednesday night with President Donald Trump at the Scheels Arena, U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., was in Washington, tweeting her meetings with North Dakota Presidential Scholars and a state representative from the National Biodiesel Board.
In regards to the president's rally endorsing U.S. House Rep. Kevin Cramer, R-N.D., and his run for Senate, Heitkamp said she "didn't even watch the speech."
"I think political speeches are political speeches," she said in a phone interview after the Fargo rally Wednesday, June 28. "And you can always expect a little bit of hyperbole."
Heitkamp went on to say it was time for us to "roll up our sleeves" and move on to "more important" issues, like passing the farm bill, finishing the budget and advancing programs for opioid relief.
Back home in North Dakota, Heitkamp's party focused on a self-described "grassroots" effort, according to party Communications Director Alex Rich, to share its "North Dakota First" message.
"In all of our policies, we want to make that really clear, we're fighting for working families and people across the state," Rich said before Trump's speech.
The Democratic-NPL Executive Director Scott McNeil said in a statement Wednesday afternoon that party volunteers would be calling and "listening to at least 12,000 voters across the state," double the Scheels Arena's 6,000 seats.
"We have seen an outpouring of support from hundreds of volunteers across the state who have spent the day speaking with North Dakotans about kitchen table issues, ending the trade war, and protecting people with preexisting conditions," McNeil said.
By Wednesday evening, Rich said the party had 300 volunteers sign up from across the state. Numbers on how many voters the volunteers reached will come out Thursday, Rich added.
Kylie Oversen, the former Democratic-NPL Chair running for tax commissioner, said before the interview she was "definitely curious what the president has to say to North Dakota," adding she didn't believe his policies were in line with the state's agricultural needs. Oversen attended the Rally for Agriculture Wednesday morning before the Trump rally, at the Red River Valley Fairgrounds in West Fargo.
Afterward, she tweeted, "Celebrating the work of our farmers and reminding our elected officials how vital agriculture is to our world."
In a later statement, Democratic-NPL Party faulted Cramer for the trade war and its impact on North Dakota agriculture, saying his actions "threaten the livelihood of North Dakota's farmers and ranchers."