U.S. President Donald Trump has congratulated Armenian-American Danny Tarkanian on his big GOP primary win in Nevada.
RENO, Nev. (AP) — Democrats in Nevada have two open congressional seats to defend in November, and Tuesday’s primary voting set the stage for what could be some of the most expensive, hard-fought House races in the country.
Republican Danny Tarkanian, son of legendary UNLV basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian, and Democrat Susie Lee, a Las Vegas philanthropist, captured their parties’ nominations in southern Nevada’s 3rd District, where incumbent Democratic Rep. Jacky Rosen advanced to face GOP Sen. Dean Heller in what promises to be one of the most important races for the U.S. Senate.
Former one-term Reps. Steven Horsford, a Democrat, and Cresent Hardy, a Republican, also prevailed to set up a rematch in the 4th District. It stretches from north of Las Vegas through four rural counties in the western battleground state that Democrat Hillary Clinton carried in her loss to President Donald Trump in 2016.
Both House seats will be up for grabs in November and could play an important role in Democrats’ hopes of cutting into GOP majorities in Congress.
Fourth-term Rep. Mark Amodei fended off a GOP primary challenge from badly outspent tea party favorite Sharron Angle in northern Nevada’s 2nd District, and Democratic Rep. Dina Titus cruised to a lopsided victory in her bid for a fifth term in the heavily Democratic 1st District in Las Vegas.
Both incumbents will be heavy favorites in the fall.
In the sprawling 2nd District where no Democrat has won since the district was created in 1980, Clinton Koble — an Obama-era appointee to the U.S. Agriculture Department who picked up labor endorsements— defeated five other candidates.
Republican Joyce Bentley, a former Las Vegas real estate agent, won her primary in the 1st District, topping Fred Horne, who finished third in the primary two years ago.
Horsford, an ex-state lawmaker from Las Vegas, became the first African-American to represent Nevada in Congress when he won the seat in 2012.
Hardy, another former legislator from Mesquite, defeated him in 2014 then lost in 2016 to Democratic Rep. Ruben Kihuen, who announced early this year he would forgo a re-election bid amid allegations of sexual misconduct.
The two former congressmen wasted little time setting their sights on the November election, blasting each other’s records in the U.S. House within an hour of being declared primary winners.