How Heidi Works for North Dakotans
Big Family in a Small Town
Heidi Heitkamp learned her North Dakota values of hard work and responsibility growing up in a big family in the small town of Mantador. Her mom was the school cook and custodian, and her dad did all kinds of jobs, from truck driver to seasonal construction.
Heidi and her six brothers and sisters all went to work as soon as they could to earn extra money for the family and later for school. She got her first babysitting job when she was 13, and worked her way through high school and college with a series of jobs, everything from waitressing to summer highway construction on a North Dakota road crew.
She says her father taught her the importance of working within the community to get the job done, from building the town VFW hall to putting a public park in Mantador so that every child had a place to play. And she says her mother, who never let the bullies beat up on the little kids in school, taught her to stand up for the little guy and demand fair play.
Heidi brought those small-town values to her career, choosing a life of public service. As a crime-fighting attorney general, she battled drug dealers, protected senior citizens from scams, and worked to keep sexual predators off our streets and away from our kids, even after their prison terms are up.
Her reputation as an advocate for the people grew when she served as a leader in the national settlement with the tobacco companies that required them to tell the truth about smoking and health, and pay restitution to the states. That settlement has so far brought $336 million to North Dakota for successful programs to reduce teen smoking and support schools and water supplies throughout the state.
As a director of the one-of-a-kind Dakota Gasification synfuels plant, she was a champion for North Dakota’s energy industry. Heidi believes we need to use all of North Dakota’s rich energy resources wisely, creating and keeping high-paying jobs right here. She believes in reducing our dependence on oil from the Mideast and investing in the sustainable, renewable power sources of the future, including harnessing North Dakota’s abundant potential for wind and solar power. And she believes energy companies should do their fair share to build the infrastructure that North Dakota needs to support a thriving energy industry.
Heidi brings her North Dakota values to the U.S. Senate. She says there are too many extreme politicians in Washington willing to hold our economy hostage to advance their narrow political agenda. Heidi says it’s time to put country first, put politics aside and work together to cut government spending, balance the budget, create jobs and get our economy back on track—while protecting North Dakotans.
Heidi lives in Mandan with her husband, Dr. Darwin Lange. They have two grown children, Ali and Nathan.Back to top