GOP’s Hoeven To Launch North Dakota Senate Campaign Today

Gov. John Hoeven (R-ND) will officially kick off his campaign for Senate today, Politico reports, as the Republican frontrunner for the seat of retiring Democratic Sen. Byron Dorgan.

Hoeven led Dorgan himself in the polls that had been done before Dorgan announced his retirement, though Hoeven was not actually in the race yet. With Hoeven’s entry into the race, he is now the undeniable frontrunner, and the seat is at least a leaning pickup for the Republicans.

Democratic Rep. Earl Pomeroy, who is already elected statewide to North Dakota’s only House seat, decided last week that he would not run. Other possible Democratic candidates are liberal talk show host Ed Schultz, who has been courted by the state Democrats, and former state Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp, who lost the 2000 gubernatorial race to Hoeven.