Fargo art, antiques dealer, a Democrat, runs for US Senate

February 15, 2022 GMT

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — A Fargo art and antiques dealer is running for U.S. Senate, saying North Dakota needs Democratic representation in Washington, D.C.

Michael Steele, 52, said Tuesday that he a started his campaign four years ago in an effort to unseat Sen. John Hoeven. Campaign finance records show Steele has raised about $2,000 since then.

State party spokeswoman Laura Dronen said she had not heard of Steele until this week.

“He has not reached out to us,” she said.

Steele is the second Democrat seeking the nomination for the seat held by Hoeven.

Katrina Christiansen, an engineering professor at the University of Jamestown, announced her bid for U.S. Senate on Monday.

The Democratic state convention is March 24-27 in Minot. Delegates will endorse candidates for state and congressional offices.

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Hoeven, a former governor, won his 2016 reelection bid with 78% of the vote. Bismarck state Rep. Rick Becker is challenging Hoeven for the Republican endorsement.

North Dakota’s three-member congressional delegation comprised all Democrats from 1987 to 2011. Former U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp was the last Democrat from the state to serve in Congress, from 2013 to 2019. She garnered 44% of the vote in her unsuccessful reelection bid in 2018.