Published: Sat, March 17, 2018
Sport | By Gary Shelton

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

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

President Trump nudged GOP challenger Danny Tarkanian out of Nevada's Senate race on Friday, convincing him to drop his primary bid against incumbent Sen.

Nevada Republican Danny Tarkanian, who had planned to run against US Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) in this year's Senate primary, has instead chose to run for the Congressional seat being vacated by Democrat Jacky Rosen, who is running in the Democratic primary for Heller's seat.

Trump brokered a deal for Las Vegas Republican Danny Tarkanian to leave the race and instead seek a House seat.

Republicans had feared Tarkanian could beat Heller in the primary, then lose to Rosen in the fall. Dean Heller in return for a Trump endorsement in a House race instead.

Heller at one point held up the GOP's long-promised effort to repeal President Barack Obama's health care law but later helped with an unsuccessful effort to dismantle it.

It "would be great" if Heller "could run for Senate unopposed!" he wrote in a tweet.

"I am confident I would have won the US Senate race and done a great job representing the people of Nevada in the Senate, but the president is adamant that a unified Republican ticket in Nevada is the best direction for the America First movement", Tarkanian said in a statement.

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Heller is considered one of the most vulnerable Republicans running for re-election in the Senate this year.

In a statement, Tarkanian said Trump and his political team contacted him on Wednesday.

Tarkanian had frequently criticized Heller for failing to strongly support the president's agenda. Bob Corker (Tenn.) and Jeff Flake (Ariz.) have created opportunities for Democratic pickups.

When asked if he would endorse Heller, Tarkanian said, "I haven't been asked".

Heller said in a statement that he appreciated Trump's apparent endorsement: "We've accomplished a lot in the previous year including cutting taxes for hardworking Nevadans and making sure that Nevada's 300,000 veterans can access the health care and benefits that they need and deserve".

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.

"I have always believed that public service is doing what is in the best interest of the people you represent, not yourself politically".

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