Cramer’s decision means all-out political war for ND

Far too often, “war” analogies are inappropriate, a naive use of language and a sleight to those who have served in actual combat.

However, an electoral battle between Sen. Heidi Heitkamp and a Rep. Kevin Cramer for Heitkamp’s seat, is as close to “war” as any state election is going to be in the mid-term election. Or, out of respect for true warriors who served their nation, it is at least a heavyweight boxing match.

Cramer’s decision to run against Heitkamp should come as no surprise. Even as Cramer claimed he would run to maintain his House seat, Heitkamp – faced with lesser opposition – has notably increased her profile and has been raising money hand over fist. A war chest that size serves to stave off tougher competition and to prepare for another heavy weight candidate. Assuming both make it to the general election, which is likely, it will pit heavy weight competitors against one another.

And it will be an epic match.

In Heitkamp, state voters have the chance to support a Democrat who prides herself on working across the aisle, supporting real North Dakota issues, while still remaining true to some core Democrat principles. There used to be many Democrats like Heitkamp. In today’s polarized political environment, there are precious few who can work in a bipartisan environment. Critics of Heitkamp accentuate the latter and also the fact that a great deal of the candidate’s financial support comes from people and interests far, far away from North Dakota. Defending her Senate seat is of the utmost importance to the national party, which is not necessarily a model of moderation.

Cramer brings a record and principle set statistically supported by many North Dakota voters. In a state in which President Donald Trump remains popular – with an approval rating just over 50 percent – Cramer was one of the first and strongest of candidate Trump’s congressional supporters. Cramer’s politics might be favored by ND voters en masse, but Heitkamp is charismatic and one of the greatest campaigners that the state has ever seen. That’s the only way a Democrat wins a Senate race in one of the nation’s most conservative states.

So far, even before Cramer officially entered the race, it looked as if this were to become the match-up, it would be blood sport. Now that it is reality, there is no reason to believe that isn’t going to be true. As of today, it looks like it will be a huge battle.

Minot Daily News calls on Heitkamp, Cramer and every candidate for office to keep the election about issues, principles, philosophy, records and proposals. Please let us avoid the politics of personal destruction and division that define politics virtually everywhere else.

It will be a tough standard for every candidate to meet. But anything else is as likely to turn voters off as it is likely to lure people to the ballot box.