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Rep. Kevin Cramer. Photo: Bill Clark / CQ Roll Call via Getty Images

Republican congressman Kevin Cramer will officially announce he's running against incumbent Democrat Heidi Heitkamp for the Senate seat in North Dakota at rally at a Bismarck hotel on Feb. 16, a source confirmed to the AP.

Why it matters: Last month Cramer decided against running, despite being courted by President Trump. But Republicans, who currently hold a narrow 51-49 majority in the Senate, are hoping to pick up North Dakota, which Trump won by double digits in 2016.

The backdrop: Many Republicans have described Cramer as the GOP's "best hope" of defeating Heitkamp in November.

  • Cramer has name recognition and holds the state's only House seat, making him a far more prominent figure in North Dakota than Republican state Sen. Tom Campbell, who's also running.
  • Cramer is also a close ally of President Trump. He promoted Trump early on in the presidential campaign.
  • Raising enough money to run was one of the reasons he cited when announcing he wouldn't challenge Heitkamp. But now Harold Hamm, an oil billionaire, has reportedly offered to help Cramer as his finance chair if he decides to run. (The curious thing is that Hamm has previously donated thousands to Heitkamp.)

The other side, per Joshua Karp, spokesman for Democratic PAC American Bridge:

"Mitch McConnell and Washington Republicans have been turned down over and over again by high-quality recruits in North Dakota, so out of desperation they are tying their fortunes to Kevin Cramer. "

Go deeper

Manchin, Schumer huddle with Biden in Delaware to discuss spending bill

Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (L) and Sen. Joe Manchin (R) at the U.S. Capitol on Nov. 13, 2014. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images

Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) will meet with President Biden and Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) on Sunday morning in Delaware as Democrats look to reach an agreement on the massive spending measure.

Driving the news: Democrats are still negotiating what to keep in the bill and how to pay for it, with Biden saying on Thursday that the party does not have the votes to raise the corporate tax rate.

2 hours ago - Technology

Scoop: Facebook exec warns of "more bad headlines"

Illustration: Megan Robinson/Axios

In a post to staffers Saturday obtained by Axios, Facebook VP of global affairs Nick Clegg warned the company that worse coverage could be on the way: “We need to steel ourselves for more bad headlines in the coming days, I’m afraid.”

Catch up quick: Roughly two dozen news outlets had agreed to hold stories based on leaked materials from Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen for Monday publication — but the embargo fell apart Friday night as participating newsrooms posted a batch of articles ahead of the weekend.

"Atmospheric river" to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood

A map depicting 24-hour preciptation forecast (inches) ending Monday at 5a.m. local time. Photo: NOAA

A series of powerful "atmospheric river" storms are set dump historic amounts of rainfall across parts of drought-stricken California and the Pacific Northwest from this weekend, forecasters warn.

Why it matters: A strong atmospheric river, packing large amounts of moisture, is predicted to whiplash Northern California from drought to flood.