- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Nevada Sen. Dean Heller received a challenger Tuesday in former Republican House candidate Danny Tarkanian for the 2018 midterm race.

“I’m very excited I’m going to announce to run for the United States Senate here in Nevada against Dean Heller,” Mr. Tarkanian said on Fox News.

Mr. Tarkanian is a longtime runner for office, he but has yet to have a successful bid. He has run for both state and federal offices dating back to 2004 with his most recent loss last year to Democratic Rep. Jacky Rosen in Nevada’s 3rd Congressional District.

Ms. Rosen also announced her plans to seek the Democratic nomination to challenge Mr. Heller for the Senate seat.

But Mr. Tarkanian said he has hope that Mr. Heller’s actions against President Trump and the Republican agenda will give him the support he needs to pose a strong primary challenge to the incumbent senator.

“Dean Heller has broken one promise after another to the people of Nevada. He promised to repeal Obamacare, and in fact he voted for that two years ago, but when he had the chance to actually get it repealed, he voted against it,” Mr. Tarkanian said.

Mr. Heller was among the first critics of Mr. Trump and has kept his distance from the administration. His seat is seen as one of the most vulnerable incumbents next year and has been highly targeted by Democrats.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee announced they stood behind Mr. Heller’s re-election bid.

“Time and again, Senator Dean Heller has proven he is unafraid to put Nevadans first,” said NRSC spokesman Michael McAdams. “The NRSC fully supports Senator Heller in his primary and general elections, and we are confident he will be re-elected.”

Mr. Tarkanian issued a statement on his campaign website saying he would stand with Sens. Ted Cruz of Texas, Mike Lee of Utah and Rand Paul of Kentucky to bring about “real reforms.”

“I am a conservative Republican who supports the policies of President Trump to repeal Obamacare and end illegal immigration,” Mr. Tarkanian said in a statement. “I will continue to support President Trump’s policies that have led to a 20% increase in the stock market in just six months. I will join Senator Lee, Senator Cruz, and Senator Paul fighting for real reforms against the liberals in our party.”

• Sally Persons can be reached at spersons@washingtontimes.com.

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