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Heidi Heitkamp

Director, University of Chicago Institute of Politics
Former Senator for North Dakota


Heidi Heitkamp is a former senator from North Dakota. She was the first female senator ever elected from North Dakota and took the oath of office on January 3, 2013 and served until January 2019.Senator Heitkamp grew up in a large family in the small town of Mantador, ND. Alongside her six brothers and sisters, she learned the value of hard work and responsibility, leading her to choose a life of public service. As a crime-fighting attorney general, she battled drug dealers, protected senior citizens from scams, and worked to keep sexual predators off the streets and away from kids, even after their prison terms are up. As a former senator from one of the most rural states in the country, Senator Heitkamp saw firsthand the slow erosion of rural support for Democrats. She joined the One Country Project to re-open the rural dialogue between voters and Democrats and help remind Democrats that rural voters have traditionally been part of the Democratic coalition. In 2022, Senator Heitkamp replaced David Axelrod as director of the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics, a university she has long been committed to and a place where she deeply enjoys engaging with students over civic discussions. Heidi lives in Mandan, North Dakota with her husband, Dr. Darwin Lange, a family practitioner. They have two children, Ali and Nathan.

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