Nevada Republican Danny Tarkanian, who had planned to run against US Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) in this year's Senate primary, has instead made a decision to run for the Congressional seat being vacated by Democrat Jacky Rosen, who is running in the Democratic primary for Heller's seat.
Danny Tarkanian is no longer running for the U.S. Senate in Nevada, but rather for Congress.
Tarkanian ran for that same seat in 2016 and lost to Democrat Rep. Jacky Rosen by just one point, but the seat is now open because Rosen is running for Senate.
Tarkanian said in a statement that he believes he would have won the Senate seat, "but the president is adamant that a unified Republican ticket in Nevada is the best direction for the America First movement". Dean Heller's Republican opponent to drop out of the race and instead run for a House seat.
The major shakeup just hours from Nevada's filing deadline for the 2018 midterms comes after President Donald Trump publicly nudged Tarkanian to make the switch. On Twitter, he regularly uses Trump catchphrases like "FAKE NEWS" and "MAGA" while referring to Heller as part of the "Swamp".
The NV-3 seat is now represented by Democratic Rep. Jacky Rosen, who is challenging Heller in the general election.
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"Senator Heller spent the last eight months falling in line with President Trump, and this backroom deal is his special reward for caving to the White House's pressure on health care", Rosen said.
According to a statement, Tarkanian said President Donald Trump and members of his political team reached out to him and asked Tarkanian to consider running for Congress.
Tarkanian, who has run unsuccessfully for several offices in Nevada over the past decade, is a former professional basketball player and the son of the late Jerry Tarkanian, a former University of Nevada Las Vegas men's basketball coach.
Heller is considered to be the most vulnerable Republican up for re-election in 2018.
Tarkanian had lost in 2016 in his bid to represent the 3rd District.
Heller said in a statement that he appreciated Trump's apparent endorsement: "We've accomplished a lot in the a year ago including cutting taxes for hardworking Nevadans and making sure that Nevada's 300,000 veterans can access the health care and benefits that they need and deserve". He added that "public service is doing what is in the best interest of the people you represent, not yourself politically".