GRAND FORKS — Former U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp made her first public appearance Saturday, Jan. 12, since losing her seat to Kevin Cramer. Now even though she's not a senator anymore, she doesn't plan to stay quiet about politics.
A Heitkamp was near tears as she spoke at a political discussion this morning first time since losing the election last fall.
"There were a lot of people after the election who really said 'What are we going to do now?'" Heitkamp told former constituents packed in a coffee shop.
"We didn't win, but that doesn't mean that we're down, and it doesn't mean that we're out, that doesn't mean that we still don't have a job to do," Heitkamp said. Her supporters were inspired and say they they will still continue to support her even if she's out of office.
"Thinking about that opportunity work and advocate doesn't end just because you're not in office anymore so I think that her attitude on that is really cool and really important," says supporter Kyle Thorson. Heitkamp talked about the government shutdown and President Trump's border wall, but her main focus was Savanna's Act, a legislation aimed at helping bring justice for missing and murdered Native American women.
"This is an issue that's still making national news, it's still on the front burner. we're not gonna let it come off the front burner," Heidi says.
She brought along post cards to send to Alaskan U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski for taking on Savanna's Act Heitkamp also made clear what issues she plans on tackling in 2019. "Childhood trauma and continuing the work that I started in educating people in childhood trauma, taking a look at the systemic economic challenges," Heidi says.
With a voice, she says she doesn't intend to lose anytime soon, even if it's not on the senate seat. Heitkamp will be coming to Fargo this week to headline the Women's March.