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Heidi Heitkamp Biography
Heidi Heitkamp grew up in a big family in the small town of Mantador, ND. She earned a bachelor’s degree from UND, a law degree from Lewis and Clark School of Law, and then brought her small-town values to her career, choosing a life of public service.
Most of you probably remember her years as Attorney General. Heidi is best known as one of the chief negotiators in the national settlement with the tobacco companies.
When Heidi first sat down at the negotiating table, North Dakota’s share of the settlement was $423 million. When she was done, North Dakota’s share was $866 million – money for our schools, tax relief, clean water projects and flood relief. And when Heidi noticed that the state legislature was spending very little of that money on anti-smoking programs, she passed a ballot referendum in 2008 that required a lot more of the money to be spent keeping kids off cigarettes. And since her measure passed, teen smoking and teen use of all tobacco products have dropped in North Dakota.
Heidi battled drug dealers, protected senior citizens from scams, helped pass one of the toughest laws in the nation to keep sexual predators off the streets and away from children, and when the federal government tried to misuse environmental laws to take over privately owned North Dakota farmland and put farmers in prison, she went to court and won.
For the last ten years, Heidi has worked as a director at the Dakota Gasification synfuels plant. She lives in Mandan with her husband, Dr. Darwin Lange, a family practitioner, and they have two grown children, Alethea and Nathan.Back to top