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Competitive Senate race shaping up in North Dakota

Associated Press Modified: May 23, 2012 at 2:01 am •  Published: May 23, 2012

MINOT, N.D. (AP) — North Dakota's prosperity from an energy boom as the rest of the country slowly crawls out from under the economic wreckage of four years ago is making a contest of a Senate race that Democrats had all but conceded.

A former state attorney general with ties to the energy industry, Heidi Heitkamp, may be the state's only Democrat who can prevent the party from losing retiring Sen. Kent Conrad's seat.

Heitkamp complains that President Barack Obama hasn't done enough to support the energy industry.

Republicans say she's too liberal but acknowledge that the race is tighter than expected. The Republican candidate is freshman congressman Rick Berg.

Republicans need four seats to take control of the Senate. Strategists see few paths to a GOP majority that don't include North Dakota.


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