Grafton State Senator Tom Campbell has decided to withdraw his candidacy for North Dakota's lone Congressional seat.
Campbell announced his intentions last year to challenge Senator Heidi Heitkamp in this year's upcoming midterm election. When Congressman Kevin Cramer announced he would run for that Senate seat, Campbell switched gears and decided to run for the House. North Dakota Republican Party Chairman Kelly Armstrong was chosen as the endorsed candidate for the House seat at last weekend's Republican Convention. Campbell had initially said the convention system didn't give the people of North Dakota a choice, and that he intended to challenge Armstrong in upcoming primary. But since then Campbell has had a change of heart. He says he's had several conversations with fellow Republicans, including Governor Doug Burgum, former Governor Ed Schafer and former Congressman Rick Berg. Campbell says he will endorse Armstrong for Congress, and that he feels now is the time for unity.
"I think it's best to unite not only the party necessarily, but the people. I'm still a people person, nothing has changed, my core values on that haven't changed, but I think seeing two people going at it for nine weeks is not doing justice to anything. It would only benefit Mac and Heidi. I just figured we needed to unite and do what's best."
Armstrong says Campbell's decision to begin an early Senate campaign last year was a bold move, and positions the party well leading up to the election.
"It was a breath of fresh air that gave everyone the opportunity to get on the ground and the things Tom did while he was campaigning from one end of the state to the other are going to help win these elections in November."
Armstrong does have two other challengers for June's primary election - Tiffany Abentroth and Paul Schaffner have both filed paperwork for that ballot. Former State Senator Mac Schneider has received the endorsement from North Dakota Democrats to run for the House seat.