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Published: Mon, March 19, 2018
Culture | By Antonia Gonzales

Trump Convinces GOP Businessman Not to Run Against Sen. Dean Heller

Trump Convinces GOP Businessman Not to Run Against Sen. Dean Heller

According to a statement, Tarkanian said President Donald Trump and members of his political team reached out to him and asked Tarkanian to consider running for Congress.

A path cleared for Nevada's incumbent GOP Senator Dean Heller when his main primary challenger, Danny Tarkanian, dropped out of the race to run for the House.

It appears Trump is suggesting Tarkanian should run for a seat in the House of Representatives. Heller has been described as the most vulnerable Republican Senator and was facing stiff opposition from Nevada Republicans, including his base.

Tarkanian, who has run unsuccessfully for several offices in Nevada over the past decade, is a former professional basketball player and the son of Jerry Tarkanian, former University of Nevada Las Vegas men's basketball coach.

Tarkanian announced he'd undertake another House run (he's lost two previous bids for the House and six different campaigns in the state) nearly immediately after Trump tweeted that he should do so and leave Heller alone, saying he'd done so because Trump asked him Wednesday night.

Though Tarkanian's exit from the race creates an easy path for Heller to win his party's nomination this summer, he will still face in November Democratic Congresswoman Jacky Rosen in an election that could help swing control of the Senate. With the addition of Tarkanian to the CD3 race, splits among devoted volunteers, donors, and party insiders is a sure bet.

Plus Trump's endorsement of Dean Heller may surprise Nevada Republicans because Heller was a #NeverTrumper and spoke against the now president openly both in the primary and the general.

Trump won the district by around one point in 2016.

Dean Heller's life just got easier. The president's famous campaign theme of draining the swamp seems to lack any seriousness when it comes to Nevada. Dean Heller, R-Nev., speaks on the floor of the U.S. Senate Wednesday, Oct. 18, 2017, on Capitol Hill in Washington.

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