- The Washington Times - Thursday, December 29, 2016

Sen. Dean Heller of Nevada said Thursday he will forego a bid for governor and seek re-election in 2018.

Mr. Heller, a Republican, hinted as recently as this month that he was considering a campaign to succeed Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval, who will be termed out in two years.

“My family and I have put much thought and prayer in considering the best way to serve the state that we love. I believe serving and running for re-election as Nevada’s senior Senator is where I can do the most good and have the biggest impact for Nevada,” Mr. Heller wrote Thursday in a Facebook post.

“Serving as governor would be an enormous honor, but I am looking forward to being Nevada’s strongest voice on Capitol Hill,” he said.

Mr. Heller was among the few Republicans who refused to rally behind President-elect Donald Trump during the campaign, though he’s told media outlets he is ready to work with the mogul going forward.

Though it’s unclear who Mr. Heller could face in 2018, Democrats will surely target him as a potential swing-state pickup in an otherwise daunting map for the party.

A Carson City native, Mr. Heller served as a state assemblyman, Nevada secretary of state and House member before Mr. Sandoval appointed him to the Senate in May 2011 to replace Sen John Ensign, who’d resigned amid an ethics investigation.

Mr. Heller won re-election in 2012 and will soon become Nevada’s senior senator, after Democratic Sen. Harry Reid decided to retire instead of seeking re-election in 2016.

Voters in November elected Catherine Cortez Masto, a Democrat and former state attorney general, to replace Mr. Reid.

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