Sen. Heitkamp, Former Defense Sec. Campaign Around State

Heitkamp will go up against Congressman Kevin Cramer in another debate on Friday

FARGO, N.D. — Senator Heidi Heitkamp continues her campaign for reelection with some help from former Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel.

Hagel has known Sen. Heitkamp for six years and during that time he says he’s learned everything he needs to know about her leadership style.

“People like her. People get along with her and she can be effective and she is effective. She has been effective. When you have that kind of a leader, you don’t want to lose that kind of leader for the country,” Hagel said.

Hagel says although Heitkamp is a Democrat, she’s also able to work on both sides of the aisle.

Sen. Heitkamp went up against Congressman Kevin Cramer in their first debate last Thursday.

She says she’s ready for round two Friday, especially because the pipe bombs sent to Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and CNN offices are another example of what’s wrong with the parties.

“We have a lot of ways to get our message out with events like this. Hopefully we’ll have a spirited discussion, but it will be civil, especially what’s happening with the events of today. I think that this is yet again, another warning sign about the hyper partisanship that is going on in this country that needs to end,” Heitkamp said.

One of Heitkamp’s campaign staffers released the names of sexual assault victims’ names without their permission in a campaign ad last week.

Heitkamp then retracted the ad, released a public apology, said she would apologize to each of the victims and then fired the employee.

She says people should vote for her because she’s still an advocate for the cause.

“It starts by believing people. So I think we have a system of justice here that you’re innocent until you’re proven guilty. I get that,” Heitkamp said. “Many times we’ve had to sit across the table from a sexual assault victim that I’ve believed and said that we can’t prove this case beyond a reasonable doubt so we can’t proceed but if I believe that person, and you don’t always believe everything, I told them I believed them. There is a certain amount of healing that happens as a result of that.”

Heitkamp has also faced a lot of criticism for deciding to vote “no” on Judge Kavanaugh’s confirmation, but says those who believe in “innocent until proven guilty” mindset should also vote for her.

“People want to say a lot about innocent until proven guilty. We need to remember that with Judge Kavanaugh, this wasn’t a criminal trial. This was a job interview,” Heitkamp said.

Sen. Heitkamp and Hagel continued campaigning in Mantador.

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