Senate Democrats have been scrambling to prevent two of their members from taking a post in the Trump administration, trying to prevent any defection that could bolster Republicans’ control of the chamber.
They recently launched a “full court press” to retain Sens. Joe Manchin, of West Virginia, and Heidi Heitkamp, of North Dakota, after each met with Republican President-elect Donald Trump, one senior Senate Democrat told Fox News.
Manchin now appears less likely to bolt — after saying he wants to remain in the Senate and being passed over for Energy secretary — which puts the focus squarely on Heitkamp.
The first-term lawmaker, who faces reelection in 2018 in a conservative state, still appears in the running for the Agriculture secretary post.
A Trump transition team source told Fox News the president-elect “really wants her” for the job.
Either departure would pose short- and long-term challenges for Senate Democrats.