Democrat Rosen ousts GOP's Heller in Nevada US Senate race

Published 11-07-2018

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LAS VEGAS (AP) - Democrat Jacky Rosen defeated incumbent Republican Dean Heller in a hard-fought battle Tuesday for a U.S. Senate seat in Nevada, giving Democrats a key pickup in the chamber.

Rosen, a relative newcomer to elected office, toppled the senator who had been in office since he was appointed to fill a vacancy in 2011.

Heller was considered the most vulnerable Republican running for re-election to the U.S. Senate this year as the only one seeking another term in a state that Hillary Clinton won in 2016.

He was once a critic of President Donald Trump, but the two became allies. Rosen painted Heller as a rubber stamp for the president and counted on backlash to Trump to help her oust the incumbent.

Rosen's win puts Nevada with half a dozen other states represented by U.S. senators who are both female. Nevada's other senator is Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto.

Nevada is a swing state that has had one Republican and one Democratic senator since 2001, when Democrat Richard Bryan left office and was replaced by Republican John Ensign, who served with Democrat Harry Reid.

Heller originally expected to face a tough primary battle from Republican Danny Tarkanian, who hammered him for his lackluster support for the president. But after Heller helped rewrite the U.S. tax laws in 2017, his relationship with the president improved.

Trump intervened in the race this spring, persuading Tarkanian to drop out and instead seek a U.S. House seat. Heller says he didn't ask for the favor but estimates it saved him up to $5 million in campaign cash he would have used to fend of Tarkanian.

Before the race was called Tuesday, Heller took the stage at a GOP party in Las Vegas to again sing the president's praises, touting the robust U.S. economy and saying it was "thanks to this president and this Rep

Heller originally expected to face a tough primary battle from Republican Danny Tarkanian, who hammered him for his lackluster support for the president. But after Heller helped rewrite the U.S. tax laws in 2017, his relationship with the president improved.

Trump intervened in the race this spring, persuading Tarkanian to drop out and instead seek a U.S. House seat. Heller says he didn't ask for the favor but estimates it saved him up to $5 million in campaign cash he would have used to fend of Tarkanian.

Before the race was called Tuesday, Heller took the stage at a GOP party in Las Vegas to again sing the president's praises, touting the robust U.S. economy and saying it was "thanks to this president and this Republican Congress that put America and Nevada back to work."

Rosen is a former computer programmer, software designer and president of a Henderson synagogue who narrowly won her House seat in 2016 after being recruited to run by Reid.

Heller is a former stockbroker who grew up in Carson City and lives on a northern Nevada ranch. He has a three-decade career in public office, having served in the state Legislature, as secretary of state and in the U.S. House.

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Trey Arline in Las Vegas and Associated Press writer Scott Sonner in Reno contributed to this report.

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For AP's complete coverage of the U.S. midterm elections: http://apne.ws/APPolitics

Before the race was called Tuesday, Heller took the stage at a GOP party in Las Vegas to again sing the president's praises, touting the robust U.S. economy and saying it was "thanks to this president and this Republican Congress that put America and Nevada back to work."

Rosen is a former computer programmer, software designer and president of a Henderson synagogue who narrowly won her House seat in 2016 after being recruited to run by Reid.

Heller is a former stockbroker who grew up in Carson City and lives on a northern Nevada ranch. He has a three-decade career in public office, having served in the state Legislature, as secretary of state and in the U.S. House.

___

Trey Arline in Las Vegas and Associated Press writer Scott Sonner in Reno contributed to this report.

___

For AP's complete coverage of the U.S. midterm elections: http://apne.ws/APPolitics

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