U.S. Rep. Amodei easily advances; Koble likely opponent | NevadaAppeal.com

U.S. Rep. Amodei easily advances; Koble likely opponent

Geoff Dornan
gdornan@nevadaappeal.com

Mark Amodei was headed for an overwhelming victory in the Republican primary in Congressional District 2 on Tuesday, handing Sharron Angle yet another defeat.

With admittedly just early returns posted on the Secretary of State's website, Amodei was leading Angle by more than 72 to 18 percent with 88 percent reporting.

Reno Democrat Clint Koble is his likely opponent in the November general election. He was leading Patrick Fogarty 26-24 percent and Rick Shepherd with 21 percent with 88 percent reporting. Three other candidates were down in the teens or single digits.

If that holds, Koble's challenge is the fact the district, which was created after the 1980 Census, has never been won by a Democrat.

Amodei has held the seat since 2011.

Facing five other Democratic contenders, Koble pointed out he was the only one with experience in federal government. Koble was director of Nevada's USDA almost eight years under President Barrack Obama.

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After an eight-year career in the Nevada Assembly, Angle lost to Dean Heller in her 2006 primary for the House and to Harry Reid in 2010 when she ran for the U.S. Senate.

Amodei, a Carson City native, said the culture in Washington, D.C., is the problem and the part he doesn't like.

"But is the work important in terms of trying to move the dial on Nevada things? The work is important," he said.

He said if voters send him back for a fourth full term, he'll try to focus on the issues important to Nevada rather than the politics.

He said he tries to stick to the facts and the issues including immigration, border security, the economy and school safety.

"We'll press on the gas as much as we can to make sure you get some definite results," he said.

In Southern Nevada, 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.

In the 1st District in Las Vegas, Rep. Dina Titus cruised to a lopsided victory in her bid for a fifth term. Two Republicans who didn't report raising any money were in a close race for the GOP nomination Tuesday night, Joyce Bentley and Fred Horne.

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.

"This November, Nevadans will have a choice between decency, civility and solutions or an NRA-endorsed shill for Donald Trump," Horsford said. "We cannot afford a congressman who voted against commonsense background checks to stop criminals, the mentally ill and suspected terrorists from obtaining deadly weapons … and has voted to strip health care away from millions of Americans."

Hardy said the only person who was disappointed when "the people of Nevada fired" Horsford four years ago was "his mentor," former Democratic Sen. Harry Reid.

"The last thing Nevada needs representing them in Congress is a professional politician who cashed in on public service for massive lobbying contracts and mansions in the Washington suburbs," Hardy said.

Tarkanian and Lee each raised well over $1 million in their primary campaigns.

Tarkanian — who had won three previous GOP primaries, but lost five general elections — lost to Rosen in 2016 by fewer than 4,000 votes in the 3rd District, which covers much of suburban Las Vegas.

He launched a combative primary bid to knock off Heller, but bowed out of the race in March under pressure from President Trump and others, and announced his candidacy for what promises to be the costliest congressional race in Nevada this fall.

Lee, a fundraiser for education and disadvantaged women, lost in the 2016 primary to Kihuen in the neighboring 4th District. She has been endorsed by former Vice President Joe Biden and has financial backing from environmentalists, labor unions, women's and abortion rights groups.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.