Tarkanian to run for Congress, not Senate
Saying he was specifically asked to change his plans by President Trump, Republican Danny Tarkanian on Friday announced he will run for the open Congressional District 3 seat instead of challenging Dean Heller in the U.S. Senate race.
He pointed out he came close to winning that Clark County district in 2016, losing to Jacky Rosen by a percentage point. Tarkanian filed on Friday to run in that race which already has eight contenders including State Sen, Scott Hammond and former Assemblywoman Victoria Seaman, both Republicans.
Tarkanian’s shift is a benefit for incumbent Heller since it will make his primary run much easier and less costly.
But it will make Democratic frontrunner Jacky Rosen’s challenge of Heller in the general election more difficult without the benefit of any damage Tarkanian could do to Heller’s candidacy. Tarkanian, however, has already caused some damage to Heller, railing against what he says is his shifting stances on positions, particularly those of the Trump administration.
On Friday morning, Trump tweeted it would be nice if Tarkanian would run for Congress and didn’t oppose Heller who’s “doing a really good job.”
There’s no shortage of candidates for major offices in the state, including 14 people who want to take away Heller’s Senate seat. There are nine candidates seeking the Congressional District 2 seat currently held by Mark Amodei. The most crowded race is the 17 people who signed up for the battle to succeed the termed-out Gov. Brian Sandoval.
On the Democratic side, there are six including the two Clark County Commissioners regarded as frontrunners in the June primary — Chris Giunchigliani and Steve Sisolak.
Among the eight Republicans who want to be governor are front-runners Attorney General Adam Laxalt and State Treasurer Dan Schwartz. The list also includes IAP candidate Russell Best, Libertarian Jared Lord and independent Ryan Bundy.
Among the state’s constitutional offices, only Controller Ron Knecht escapes having to run in the primary. His lone opponent is Democrat Catherine Byrne.
Republican Assemblyman Jim Wheeler of Ruhenstroth faces two Carson Valley challengers, Minden Democrat Patricia Ackerman and Gardnerville Libertarian Paul Cwalina.
Sen. James Settelmeyer, R-Minden, faces Carson City Democrat Curtis Cannon, who filed Friday.