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North Dakota Republican wins US Senate race

Washington — US Representative Kevin Cramer, Republican-North Dakota, defeated incumbent US Senator Heidi Heitkamp, Democrat-North Dakota, after a Senate campaign in which both candidates worked to stress their oil and natural gas-friendly credentials.

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Cramer was projected to win with about 58% of the vote, according to the state's unofficial election results.

The North Dakota Senate race moved into the national spotlight after Heitkamp voted against Brett Kavanaugh's appointment to the Supreme Court, but energy issues were at the forefront of the race in a state that has become the second largest oil producer behind Texas.

During the campaign, Cramer and Heitkamp argued over who deserves more credit for getting restrictions on US crude oil exports lifted in late 2014. North Dakota oil production averaged a record 1.29 million b/d in August and is expected to continue its record-setting pace this year.

Cramer advised Trump on energy policy issues during his presidential campaign and was rumored as a possible pick to head the Department of Energy, while Heitkamp was a director of the Dakota Gasification Company, a synthetic natural gas company which operates the Great Plains Synfuels Plant. Cramer has criticized Heitkamp's vote against repealing an Obama-era rule on methane emissions while Heitkamp has claimed that the Trump administration's trade war with China has reduced US crude oil exports.

-- Brian Scheid, brian.scheid@spglobal.com; Meghan Gordon, meghan.gordon@spglobal.com

-- Edited by Christopher Newkumet, newsdesk@spglobal.com