Heitkamp Named Best Candidate of 2012 | VideoJessica Roose | 11/21/2012
Now that the excitement of the election has wound down, U.S Senator Elect Heidi Heitkamp has had time to reflect on her campaign.
"I think that campaigns across the country have turned into war of ads back and forth and certainly North Dakotans saw a lot of those. But the bottom line what made a difference for us is all the grassroot support we had. That was neighbor to neighbor, door to door, doing everything that we could," she said.
It was her successful campaign that prompted the Washington Post to declare Heitkamp the best candidate of 2012 due to what they say was an underdog win against Representative Rick Berg and positive campaign ads.
A billboard on Expressway congratulates Heitkamp on her victory, but she says she can`t take all the credit.
"I think that one of the reasons why I was given that award is because we were able to transcend party labels and I`ve said all along it`s about how North Dakotans think and how they view politics. They`re independent thinkers and that award belongs to them not to me."
"I think it`s great. She has been a very visible on the Standing Rock Reservation, especially where we work and I know that a lot of people were really really happy to have her voted," said Bismarck resident Sloane Floberg.
"I think she ran a great campaign and that`s why she was elected. I think Berg probably was a little bit better candidate but he had a horrible campaign. So yeah, I would agree to that," said Bismarck resident Kelly Burns.
Because the race could have decided which party controlled power in the Senate, it received a lot of national attention and from political action groups and the national media.
"North Dakota has been mentioned a lot for the oil and all of that and thats been good publicity. But to have Heidi on there as well, is really really nice for North Dakota. Anything that brings publicity to North Dakota is a great thing," Floberg said.
Heitkamp will be sworn in with the rest of the freshmen members of Congress in early January.
Other contenders for best candidate included Senator-Elect Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts and Senator-Elect Ted Cruz of Texas. Heitkamp also received an honorable mention for best ad for the one she released of her in a batting cage.