Former North Dakota Attorney General Heidi Heitkamp (D) made her campaign for retiring Sen. Kent Conrad's (D) seat official today.
"Today I am formally opening a campaign committee. I will be a candidate to represent North Dakota in the United States Senate," Heitkamp said in a statement, noting that she'll have an "announcement event and kickoff in the near future."
Heitkamp's entrance into the race ends Democrats' search for a candidate in North Dakota. Democratic officials in Washington, D.C., including Conrad, have been pumping her candidacy for weeks, hoping she would get into the race.
Conrad won his last re-election bid easily, but Republicans have dominated North Dakota in national elections. As a result, many political insiders view Heitkamp's bid as an uphill effort.
Freshman Rep. Rick Berg is the likely GOP nominee, but businessman Duane Sand is also running for the party's nod.
Heitkamp served as the state's attorney general in the 1990s before losing to now-Sen. John Hoeven (R) in the 2000 gubernatorial race.
Following the speeches from elected officials, the crowd stands at long tables as they dig into BBQ, brunswick stew, cadillac rice at the Law Enforcement Cookout at Wayne Dasher's pond house in Glennville, Ga., on Thursday, April 17, 2014.