Businessman Danny Tarkanian, who has run for different political offices in Nevada,  announced on Fox this morning that will challenge Republican Nevada Senator Dean Heller next year in the primary.

Tarkanian called Heller a “Never-Trumper” and promised to carry out President Donald Trump’s policies. From NBC News:

Heller charted a meandering course through the Affordable Care Act repeal debate, leading Tarkanian to say the senator had “turned his back on us.” Heller stridently opposed an early version of the GOP health care plan before voting for the final bill in the Senate.

“I am a conservative Republican who supports the policies of President Trump to repeal Obamacare and end illegal immigration. I will continue to support President Trump’s policies that have led to a 20% increase in the stock market in just six months,” Tarkanian said in a statement announcing his candidacy.

Tarkanian also told Fox that people have contacted him to persuade him to challenge Heller, who is a vulnerable Republican since he’s the “only one holding a seat in a state carried by Clinton last year.” He claimed that Heller actually helped Clinton win the state due to his stance against Trump.

Heller’s office quickly reminded the media that Tarkanian has not won the five offices he has run for:

“Danny Tarkanian is a perennial candidate who has spent millions of dollars on five campaigns over the last decade. Nevada voters have rejected him every time,” Heller spokesman Tommy Ferraro said in a statement. “He’s wasted conservatives’ time and cost the Republican Party seats up and down the ballot. If he ultimately files for U.S. Senate he will lose in the primary.”

From Politico:

Tarkanian is the son of the late Jerry Tarkanian, who coached basketball at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Danny Tarkanian has made numerous unsuccessful runs for office in the state, but he is well-known and has won several primaries in recent years. Tarkanian made losing bids for Nevada secretary of state in 2006, U.S. Senate in 2012 and Nevada’s 4th Congressional District seat in 2012. He came closest to winning office in 2016, losing the 3rd District race to Democratic Rep. Jacky Rosen by less than 2 percentage points.

The National Republican Senatorial Committee (NRSC) immediately threw its support behind Heller. From The Hill:

“Time and again, Senator Dean Heller has proven he is unafraid to put Nevadans first,” Michael McAdams, a spokesman for the NRSC, said in a statement. “The NRSC fully supports Senator Heller in his primary and general elections, and we are confident he will be re-elected.”

But as NBC News points out, even though Tarkanian has failed before, the campaigns have made a name for himself in Nevada. This could “force Heller to divert resources and push the senator into more conservative positions than might be advisable in the Democratic-leaning state.”


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