The campaign announcement last week by philanthropist Susie Lee ensured Democrats will have a top candidate for one of their most vulnerable open seats and highlighted Nevada’s center stage placement in the midterms.
Democratic Rep. Jacky Rosen’s challenge to Republican Sen. Dean Heller filled a vital recruitment slot in a state carried by Hillary Clinton. But her candidacy left open the swingy 3rd District, with several Republican candidates vying to win back what could be a critical seat in deciding the majority.
Heller already faces an intraparty challenge from last year’s NV-03 nominee Danny Tarkanian. Rep. Dina Titus is still contemplating taking on the establishment-backed Rosen for the Senate nomination, which would open the safely Democratic, Las Vegas-based 1st District.
Just to the north in the Democratic-leaning 4th District, freshman Rep. Ruben Kihuen is being challenged by Las Vegas City Councilman Stavros Anthony, a Republican who ran for mayor in 2015. And in the expansive and Republican-leaning 2nd, Rep. Mark Amodei must top frequent candidate Sharron Angle to secure the GOP nomination.
Meanwhile, the race to replace Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval is another top target for national Democrats, who hope to dig out from a deep minority in governor seats.
— Kyle Trygstad