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Campaign 2018: Nevada has two races in national spotlight

Nevada is sure to see plenty of national attention as this year’s election cycle ramps up.

Politico recently rated the Silver State’s 2018 battles for U.S. Senate and governor as races to watch.

U.S. Sen. Dean Heller’s re-election bid, which features a primary challenge from businessman Danny Tarkanian and a strong Democratic candidate in freshman Rep. Jacky Rosen, ranked as Politico’s top Senate race to watch.

“Hillary Clinton only won Nevada by 4 points last year, while Trump won some of the Democratic-held states on this list by much larger margins. But a brutal political environment for Republicans — along with some potential missteps by Heller — make him the most vulnerable senator in 2018,” Politico said.

Politico also ranked Nevada’s race to replace term-limited Gov. Brian Sandoval fifth in its Top 10 governor’s races to watch in 2018.

The race features no shortage of powerful politicians. Attorney General Adam Laxalt is considered the front-runner to take the GOP nomination, while Nevada Treasurer Dan Schwartz and local businessman Jared Fisher are hoping to cause some disruptions.

For the Democrats, it’s really a two-horse race between fellow Clark County commissioners Steve Sisolak and Chris Giunchigliani.

New candidates

State Sen. Pat Spearman, D-North Las Vegas, filed to run for the U.S. House of Representatives last week in Nevada’s 4th District. Incumbent Rep. Ruben Kihuen announced last month, after multiple women accused him of sexual harassment and making repeated unwanted sexual advances, that he won’t seek re-election.

John Anzalone, a political newcomer and principal of Sierra Vista High School in Las Vegas, also announced that he is running for Kihuen’s seat as a Democrat.

Endorsements

Republican Senate Leader Michael Roberson endorsed Assemblyman Keith Pickard, who is running to replace Roberson in his Senate District 20 seat. Roberson is vacating the seat to run for lieutenant governor. Pickard and Byron Brooks, a political newcomer and local business owner, are vying in the GOP primary for Roberson’s seat.

Contact Colton Lochhead at clochhead@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4638. Follow @ColtonLochhead on Twitter.

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