Dean Heller Now Has A Republican Challenger For His Seat In 2018

Bill Clark/CQPHO

After facing backlash from President Donald Trump and a Pro-Trump group over his sometimes-critical stance on the Senate Republican’s Obamacare repeal and replace bill, Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV) now has a GOP challenger for his seat in 2018.

Danny Tarkanian announced on “Fox and Friends” Tuesday morning that he is running for Heller’s seat. The Nevada Republican said he plans to campaign on the promise of supporting Trump’s agenda, which he claims Heller hasn’t done.

Heller is widely considered the most vulnerable Republican in 2018 after a pro-Trump group called America First Policies aired a critical television advertisement in Heller’s home state in June. The group attacked Heller for his opposition to Senate Republicans’ health bill. Heller eventually voted to begin debate on Obamacare repeal, as well as a “skinny” repeal bill that failed in the Senate.

“I have so many people that are contacting me over the past couple months saying ‘You gotta run against Dean Heller.’ They understand, as I do, that we’re never going to make America great again unless we have senators in office that fully support President Trump and his America first agenda,” Tarkanian said Tuesday.

Calling Heller one of the “first never-Trump-ers” in Nevada, Tarkanian said Heller helped democratic candidate Hillary Clinton win the state of Nevada. 

“I fully supported Donald Trump until the end of the campaign and now even after President Trump has been elected, Dean Heller has obstructed his agenda,” Tarkanian said. “We need people who are going to support the America first agenda and I will be that person.”

This isn’t Tarkanian’s first bid for a seat in Washington. He’s run several unsuccessful campaigns, including a 2010 bid for Senate and a recent failed run against current Rep. Jacky Rosen (D-NV).

Watch the interview below:

Correction: This post originally misidentified Danny Tarkanian as Jerry Tarkanian.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Nicole Lafond is a news writer for TPM based in New York City. She is also currently earning a master's degree in journalism from Columbia University and previously worked as an education reporter at The News-Gazette in Champaign, Ill. Follow her on Twitter @Nicole_Lafond.
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