Tracker Pixel for Entry

The final Democratic push for North Dakota

by C.S. Hagen | .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address) | News | November 1st, 2018

Former Vice President Joe Biden speaks at the Fargo Air Museum to kick off Bring It Home Heidi! final campaign stretch before Election Day - photograph by C.S. Hagen

FARGO – The differences between competing political rallies in North Dakota is palpable. Senator Heidi Heitkamp’s last push before Election Day – former Vice President Joe Biden attending – was lively, filled with people from all races, and featured Indigenous music performed by the Turtle Mountain Drum Group.

Few people among the hundreds that attended “Bring It Home, Heidi!” rally on Thursday at the Fargo Air Museum wore hats. Parents held months-old babies and swayed to tunes from Roy Orbison and Billy Joel performed live by the Fargo band Blue English. They cheered. Some yelled “Heidi.” No one pointed to the press naming them the “true enemy of the people.”

Despite recent survey polls saying Heitkamp’s challenger, Congressman Kevin Cramer, is ahead by more than 10 points, those present exuded hope for change.

The final Democratic push for North Dakota candidates - photograph by Raul Gomez

In contrast, a non-white person was difficult to spot at President Donald Trump’s rally last summer at Scheels Arena in support of Cramer. One African American close to the front who stood in support of Trump was signaled out as an example during his speech. More than half the crowd wore made-in-China “Make America Great Again” hats, or T-shirts emblazoned with slogans such as “Drain the Swamp,” or “Suck it up Buttercup.”

Members of the media were pointed at angrily by Trump and by the crowd attending, and called an enemy of the people. One woman turned her back on Trump and was escorted away by security. The lines to both rallies were long, but one never mentioned the size of the crowd, the other exaggerated.

The primary difference between the political rallies is that one rally was missing the fear mongering rhetoric, the misnomers, and the political hatred; the other was not. One felt democratic, the other authoritarian.

“We all know in our gut that there is something different about this election,” Biden said. “I think the very character of America is on the ballot. We are in a battle for America’s soul.”

U.S. Senator Heidi Heitkamp enters into the final week of her campaign for re-election in one of the nation's most heated races - photograph by C.S. Hagen

Will America fall prey to the phenomenon of fear and falsehoods, of race baiting rife with the politics of division? Biden asked. Or can American ideals of fairness, decency, respect, and equality be brought back.

“We hold these truths to be self evident that all men are created equal,” Biden said. His voice was hoarse from months on the campaign trail, he was suffering from laryngitis. “We don’t always live up to it, but we’ve never walked away from it, not like so many of our leaders are doing now.

“It [hope] is getting dimmer because of the way some people are playing this game these days. We are so much better than this. I also know the American people, the way we interact, the way we treat each other, what we share, what we post, we can and will overcome this moment, but only by being the very best versions of ourselves that we can be.”

Jean Brandt, running for the Public Service Commission and David Thompson, a Grand Forks attorney running for  North Dakota Attorney General - photograph by C.S. Hagen

Biden said Heitkamp, his friend, is a woman he would share a foxhole with. She is an independent and trustworthy voice for North Dakota, with the “backbone of a ramrod,” who once sued President Bill Clinton over an environmental issue.

“Not many folks in Washington that you can count on,” Biden said. “But Heidi always does just that. She does what is right, consequences be damned.”

Turtle Mountain Drum Group performing - photograph by C.S. Hagen

Heitkamp enters the final week of her race to defend her Senate seat, and will be traveling across the state for the next four days in a bus emblazoned with her picture and “Bring It Home, Heidi!” on the side.

One of the major issues Democratic candidates are fighting for before the polls close is the Affordable Care Act and how a Texas federal lawsuit endangers the protections the law currently gives.

Josh Boschee, Democratic-NPL candidate for Secretary of State - photograph by C.S. Hagen

Josh Boschee, candidate for the Secretary of State, is running against Al Jaeger, and said that the one thing Democrats and Republicans can agree on is that not even the GOP wants Jaeger in office. He was not endorsed by the North Dakota Republican Party until GOP-endorsed Will Gardner’s criminal history of being a convicted peeping Tom was exposed and he dropped from the race.

Kylie Oversen, Democratic-NPL candidate for Tax Commissioner - photograph by C.S. Hagen

Kylie Oversen, one of the youngest elected politicians in the country and current candidate for Tax Commissioner, is running against Ryan Rauschenberger who pleaded guilty in 2017 for drunk driving after lying to the police, according to police dash camera footage.

Oversen, an attorney, said she will bring back respect, transparency, responsible tax policy, fiscal responsibility, and good work ethics to the office if elected.

Mac Schneider, Democratic-NPL candidate for U.S. House of Representatives - photograph by C.S. Hagen

Vying to take Cramer’s current spot in the U.S. House of Representatives, Mac Schneider, an attorney, is running against heir to family oil Kelly Armstrong, also an attorney.

Schneider stands against the current trade war, is adamantly against the Texas federal lawsuit threatening to make the Affordable Care Act unconstitutional, and is opposed to corporate farming.

“Next Tuesday, Kevin Cramer is going down,” Democratic-NPL Campaign Director Tom Bryant said.

Jason Ehlert, president of the North Dakota State Building & Construction Trades Department, is the man featured in Senator Heidi Heitkamp's arm wrestling advertisement - photograph by C.S. HagenFormer U.S. Senator Kent Conrad used to have Heitkamp’s current job, and said she has done more in her first six years than he did.

“And that kind of hurts my feelings,” he said, joking. “Heidi Heitkamp is no blank check for any President or party. The redhead gets stuff done, and that is exactly what we need in the United States Senate. Now, you compare that to her opponent, he says he is 100 percent behind the President. Really? He’s even 100 percent when he does stuff that hurts North Dakota.

“No senator should give up their vote for their President or their party.”

Heitkamp finds herself in the same spot she was in six years ago when the polls said she trailed Republican Chris Berg by 10 points.

“People don’t understand North Dakota, and how tough North Dakotans are,” Heitkamp said. “A lot of pundits have written us off. They don’t think we can do it. What do you think?”

“Yes we can,” the crowd said.

“We all have to make it clear this Tuesday that we will choose hope over fear,” Biden said. “We choose truth over lies. Folks, this country has to come together. We have to come together now; we can’t wait. It’s time to get up and remember who the hell we are.” 

Hundreds of people attended Bring It Home Heidi! rally at the Fargo Air Museum Thursday morning - photograph by C.S. Hagen

Former Vice President Joe Biden at the Fargo Air Museum - photograph by Raul Gomez

Recently in:

FARGO – The National Weather Service has predicted widespread flooding from the Great Lakes to Devils Lake to the Red River of the North River Basin, saying the risk is elevated because of packed snow, deep frost, and…

By Gabrielle Herschgabbyhersch@gmail.com“North Dakota (and Minnesota) nice” is an attitude, a stereotype, and a way of life that has permeated our region, as well as perceptions of the Midwest, since as long as people have been…

March 19-23Fargo Theatre, 314 N Broadway, FargoThe Fargo Theatre will be opening daily at 9am during the Fargo Film Festival and will be screening 90+ submissions! Add director Q&As, 2 minute movie contest and extra special guests.…

It is possible, even ethical, to stand behind Israel and criticize the nation at the same time. No country, no man or woman, is without fault. While we at the High Plains Reader believe the U.S. House of Representatives’…

The Battle Between Extreme Capitalism And Democratic SocialismAfter Vice-President Mike Pence representing racial and extreme capitalism ended his scathing rant about democratic socialism at the Conservative Political Action…

The eighth week of this year’s HPR Cocktail Showdown was another tripleheader for our panel of judges. On this particular week, we found ourselves focused on a trio of downtown dining and entertainment establishments to visit…

In rural Minnesota, outside of Park Rapids, Amy Thielen was attempting to light her wood-fired oven. It is in her brand-new kitchen that she hopes to teach cooking classes out of, which is a far cry from what it was when she and…

The Fargo-Moorhead Symphony Orchestra has had its fair share of guest performances headlining its concerts over the years. They all have impressive resumes, their fair share of awards, and worldwide recognition. However, bringing…

With the 19th annual Fargo Film Festival underway this week, film lovers and filmmakers are flocking to the Fargo Theatre to catch screenings. One local filmmaker, Steven Warkel, got to see the short film that he wrote and…

Though Harvey North Dakota based photographer Lew Ableidinger has switched from film photography to digital photography and back he couldn’t avoid the analog.“I returned to film because I wanted to start shooting large format,…

To many people unfamiliar with the wide range of the musical genre, the word ‘opera’ conjures up stereotypical images of people in period costumes and large women in Viking garb singing in foreign languages. The truth, however,…

Stand-up comedy is traditionally a one-way exchange. Outside of the odd question addressed to a random audience member, the limit of the spectators’ contribution to the conversation is their laughter at the comedy stylings being…

By Gabrielle Herschgabbyhersch@gmail.comThink & Drink is coming to Fargo! Organized by Humanities North Dakota, Think & Drink is a happy hour series that hosts a facilitated public conversation about big issues and ideas. Lead by a…

I’m a big man, I’m tall and powerful, but this also causes some issues in the body department. I suffer from acute scoliosis in my lower back, and pain radiates from this area on a daily basis. I have only ever had one massage…

by Devin Joubertdevinlillianjoubert@gmail.comIt’s that beautiful time of the year that’s filled with seasonal decorations, sparkly lights, warm family gatherings, and delicious feasts. I love everything about this time of the…

I’ve got a problem. I need to write a column that is going to be kind of critical of three people I like, and I’m trying to figure out how to do it without making them all angry at me. Their names are Sara, Doug and Marvin.…