Former Herseth Sandlin staffer to manage North Dakota Senate campaignA woman who worked as a top staffer to former congresswoman Stephanie Herseth Sandlin has taken a job running a North Dakota Senate campaign.
By: Tom Lawrence, The Daily Republic
A woman who worked as a top staffer to former congresswoman Stephanie Herseth Sandlin has taken a job running a North Dakota Senate campaign.
Tessa Gould will serve as campaign manager for Heidi Heitkamp’s race for a Senate seat that will be vacated.
“We are incredibly fortunate to have such a talented, seasoned and dedicated professional on board,” Heitkamp said. “She knows our state, she knows the issues that are important to our people and she loves North Dakota as much I do.”
Heitkamp is the apparent Democratic candidate who will run against Republican Rep. Rick Berg for the Senate seat. Democratic Sen. Kent Conrad has announced his retirement.
Gould, 38, had been working as the associate development director for the University of South Dakota Foundation. She was named to that post July 21 after a brief tenure as associate state director for advocacy for AARP North Dakota.
Gould was Herseth Sandlin’s state director and then chief of staff from 2004 until 2011. In 2009, she was paid $120,999.96 for her work, according to congressional salary records.
She also took time off from her work on Herseth Sandlin’s official staff to work on campaigns. Gould was the campaign manager in the 2004 and 2006 campaigns.
As Herseth Sandlin’s chief of staff, she served as chief adviser to the congresswoman and oversaw the day-to-day operations of a congressional office with 20 employees, operating in Sioux Falls, Rapid City, Aberdeen and Washington, D.C.
She made headlines in 2010 during Herseth Sandln’s race against Kristi Noem, which Herseth Sandlin lost. Gould was arrested and charged with drunken driving in Brookings.
She pleaded guilty to the charge and was suspended from her job for a month.
Before working for Herseth Sandlin, Gould served as a staffer for Rep. Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D., from 2000 to 2004 and also worked for Sen. Byron L. Dorgan, D-N.D., and House Leader Dick Gephardt, D-Mo.