Sen. Byron Dorgan (D-ND) announced yesterday that he will not be running for re-election, depriving the Senate of one of its strongest populist voices. Today, MSNBC host Ed Schultz, a native of North Dakota, said he’s been contacted by a top state Democrat and Dorgan himself about running for the seat. North Dakota House Minority Leader Merle Boucher (D) called to urge Schultz to consider a bid, which Schultz did not rule out:
“I’m flattered. I’m honored. I can’t say that I’m even considering it right now,” Schultz said. “I’m in a different place right now. So we’re a long way from any kind of consideration.”
Still, Schultz sounded like he was taking the prospect of challenging Gov. John Hoeven (R)– the likely GOP candidate — seriously. “I personally think that he’s vulnerable in a lot of areas. He’s going to be challenged in a lot of areas,” Schultz said.
The [Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee] refused to say whether they had reached out to Schultz, citing a policy against revealing conversations with potential candidates.
As Schultz pointed out on his show last night, North Dakota requires that candidates maintain residency in the state for five years prior to running for the Senate, and he has lived in Minnesota for the past two years — meaning he is not eligible for the position.