2012 election: Dean Heller files for Senate | NevadaAppeal.com

2012 election: Dean Heller files for Senate

SANDRA CHEREB
Associated Press

U.S. Sen. Dean Heller was among the early contenders to file candidacy papers in Nevada’s upcoming elections when the two-week filing period for federal, state and local elected offices began Monday.

Heller was appointed to the Senate last year by Gov. Brian Sandoval after John Ensign resigned amid an ethics investigation involving an extramarital affair.

Heller, a Republican who had been elected to the U.S. House three times, is expected to face Democratic Rep. Shelley Berkley of Las Vegas in a closely watched contest. Berkley is expected to file her papers next week.

Republican Danny Tarkanian also made his candidacy official for Nevada’s newly created 4th Congressional District, an area that favors Democrats by a margin of 10 percentage points, according to the latest voter registration numbers from the secretary of state’s office.

Tarkanian ran unsuccessfully for the GOP’s U.S. Senate nomination in 2010, losing to Sharron Angle in a crowded primary field. Angle lost to Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid in the general election.

Tarkanian also ran and lost in 2004 for the state Senate and in 2006 for secretary of state. His wife, Amy, resigned last month as chairwoman of the Nevada Republican Party to help her husband campaign.

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Tarkanian could face state Sen. Barbara Cegavske, R-Las Vegas, in a primary run. Cegavske is in the middle of her last term in the state Senate and was the first GOP candidate to announce her intent to seek Nevada’s new House seat.

Others who have announced for the seat are Dan Schwartz and Kenneth Wegner, both Republicans.

Democratic state Sen. Steven Horsford, the chamber’s majority leader, also intends to run for that seat, and so far has no serious primary opposition.

Both Heller and Berkley have the backings of their parties but will still have primary competition.

Nancy Price, a Democrat and former Nevada university regent who unsuccessfully challenged Heller for the House in 2010, filed for the Senate race.

Heller will face Ed Hamilton, a frequent candidate who was first to file Monday as a Republican candidate in that race; as well as Sherry Brooks, who filed and then withdrew as a GOP Senate candidate two years ago.

In Nevada’s three other federal races, former Rep. Dina Titus plans to run for the 1st district seat being vacated by Berkley.

Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Nev., won a special election in September to replace Heller in the House after Heller was appointed to the Senate. Amodei is expected to file today in Carson City. Russell Best filed as an independent for the post Monday.

In the 3rd district race, incumbent Republican Rep. Joe Heck faces an announced challenge from Assembly Speaker John Oceguera, D-Las Vegas.

ON THE BALLOT

Candidates who filed as of 5 p.m. Monday

CARSON CITY FILINGS

MAYOR

Bob Crowell (incumbent)

SUPERVISOR WARD 2

Brad Bonkowski

Maurice White

SUPERVISOR WARD 4

Molly Walt (incumbent)

SCHOOL TRUSTEE DISTRICT 7

Joe Cacioppo Jr.

STATE FILINGS

State Assembly District 38

Tom Grady (incumbent)

State Assembly District 39

Kelly Kite (incumbent)

Gary Roger Schmidt

Jim Wheeler

FEDERAL SEATS

U.S. Senate

Sherry Brooks

Eddie Hamilton

Dean Heller

Nancy Price

U.S. Rep. District 2

Russell Best