The Latest: Nevada Sen. Heller thanks Trump for support

LAS VEGAS (AP) — The Latest on a Senate race in Nevada (all times local):

12:25 p.m.

Nevada Sen. Dean Heller says he appreciates that President Donald Trump is supporting his re-election bid.

Heller released a statement Friday acknowledging Trump’s praise offered on Twitter, but it included no mention of Heller’s primary election opponent making an abrupt decision to drop out at the president’s request.

Trump brokered a deal for Las Vegas Republican Danny Tarkanian to leave the race and instead seek a House seat.

Trump said on Twitter Friday that Heller “is doing a really good job” and should run for Senate unopposed.

Democratic Congresswoman Jacky Rosen, who is challenging Heller, called the move a “backroom deal” made to reward Heller “for caving to the White House’s pressure on health care.”

Heller at one point held up the GOP’s long-promised effort to repeal President Barack Obama’s health care law but later helped with an unsuccessful effort to dismantle it.


10:50 a.m.

Nevada Republican Danny Tarkanian says he’s agreed to drop out of a U.S. Senate race and instead seek a House seat at President Donald Trump’s request.

Tarkanian said in a statement Friday that Trump and his advisers reached out to him late Wednesday and asked him to instead run for a House seat he lost in 2016.

Tarkanian says he is confident he would have won the Senate race against incumbent Republican Dean Heller, but said the president feels Republicans need a united ticket in Nevada.

He says he plans to instead run in the state’s 3rd Congressional District. That seat is being vacated by Democrat Jacky Rosen, who is running against Heller.

Tarkanian had frequently criticized Heller for failing to strongly support the president’s agenda. Heller has criticized the president in the past, but more recently became an ally.


10:15 a.m.

President Donald Trump is advocating for Nevada Sen. Dean Heller, suggesting an expected primary opponent should step aside.

Trump says on Twitter Friday: “It would be great for the Republican Party of Nevada, and it’s unity if good guy Danny Tarkanian would run for Congress and Dean Heller, who is doing a really good job, could run for Senate unopposed!”

Heller is considered one of the most vulnerable Republicans running for re-election in the Senate this year. Las Vegas Republican Danny Tarkanian plans to challenge Heller in the GOP primary in June.

It appears Trump is suggesting Tarkanian should run for a seat in the House of Representatives.

First-term Democratic U.S. Rep. Jacky Rosen has also filed to run for the seat.

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