Google+

Tags: Dean Heller

The Post-Akin GOP Outlook for the Senate . . . Doesn’t Look That Bad!



Text  



Argh. What are the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and grassroots Republicans and conservatives, supposed to do, now that Todd Akin has exponentially complicated the effort to defeat Sen. Claire McCaskill in Missouri, and win the three (or four, if Romney doesn’t win) seats needed to take over the Senate?

All they have is Nebraska, where state senator Deb Fischer holds an 18-point lead over Democrat Bob Kerrey in a seat where incumbent Democrat Ben Nelson is retiring, and North Dakota, where Rick Berg is up 9 on in a seat where incumbent Democrat Kent Conrad is retiring . . .

and Montana, where Rep. Denny Rehberg has a small but consistent lead over incumbent Jon Tester . . .

and Wisconsin, where Tommy Thompson has an increasing lead over Tammy Baldwin to fill the Senate seat occupied by the retiring Herb Kohl . . .

. . . but they have to make up the likely loss in Maine, where either a Democrat or a Democratic-leaning independent is likely to replace Sen. Olympia Snowe . . . and they need to keep Sen. Scott Brown in office in Massachusetts, where the latest poll has him . . . er, only up by 5 . . .

. . . and they have to hold Indiana in a presidential year, when Rasmussen has Republican Richard Mourdock slightly ahead . . . and make sure that Sen. Dean Heller keeps his consistent lead in Nevada . . .

and . . . hey, wait a minute . . . Connie Mack looks pretty competitive against incumbent Democrat Bill Nelson in Florida . . . George Allen remains neck-and-neck with Tim Kaine in Virginia . . .

. . . what’s this? Could incumbent Democrat Senator Sherrod Brown really be tied with GOP challenger Josh Mandel in Ohio, as Rasmussen suggests? And what’s this eye-popping suggestion that in Connecticut, “former wrestling executive Linda McMahon holds a narrow lead over Democratic Congressman Chris Murphy in Rasmussen Reports’ first look at Connecticut’s U.S. Senate race. A new telephone survey of Likely Voters in Connecticut shows McMahon with 49 percent of the vote to Murphy’s 46 percent . . .”

Gee, suddenly the outlook for Republicans in the Senate races doesn’t look so bad anymore, does it?

Tags: Connie Mack , Dean Heller , Deb Fischer , Denny Rehberg , George Allen , Josh Mandel , Linda McMahon , Richard Mourdock , Rick Berg , Scott Brown , Senate Republicans , Tommy Thompson

Early Voting Gives GOP 15,000 Vote Edge in Nevada



Text  



Meanwhile, in the other special election today, Nevadans go to the polls to select a congressman to replace Dean Heller, who was appointed to the U.S. Senate earlier this year. Polls are open until 7 p.m. local time, and Nevadans in the 2nd Congressional District will  choose among Republican Mark Amodei, Democrat Kate Marshall, and two other candidates, Tim Fasano and Helmuth Lehmann.

So far, 40,190 registered Republicans, 25,621 registered Democrats, and 9,297 voters registered with other or no party have voted early.

Tags: Dean Heller , Kate Marshall , Mark Amodei

The Messy Free-for-All in Nevada’s 2nd District



Text  



Over on the home page, I take a look at the free-for-all that is emerging in the special House election scheduled for September 13 in Nevada’s 2nd congressional district. (Rep. Dean Heller, the former incumbent, is now a U.S. senator.) There will be no party primary; the ballot will be open to anyone with 100 signatures. While the vast district is generally Republican-leaning, there are at least four major GOP candidates: former state assemblywoman and Senate candidate Sharron Angle, state senator Greg Brower, former U.S.S. Cole commander Kirk Lippold, and Nevada Republican-party chairman Mark Amodei.

At this point, only three Democrats are running, and state treasurer Kate Marshall appears to be the best-known. Whoever gets the most votes wins, so it is quite possible that a Democrat could win the seat.

With no primary scheduled, and the obvious problems of the state party somehow unilaterally appointing its nominee (COUGHscozzafavaCOUGH), the GOP needs its voters in this district to coalesce behind a candidate. But which one and how?

Tags: Dean Heller , Greg Brower , Kirk Lippold , Mark Amodei , Sharron Angle

U.S.S. Cole Commander Running for House in Nevada



Text  



Republicans have a new candidate in Nevada’s 2nd congressional district who’s seen much tougher times than a hotly contested House race in a swing state.

Kirk Lippold, a Carson City resident and former U.S. Naval warship Commander, today announced his candidacy for the United States Congress.  Lippold will be running for Nevada’s 2nd Congressional District seat.

“I have spent my life and career in service to my country. I am excited to announce my candidacy for Nevada’s 2nd Congressional District and I look forward to serving my home state of Nevada as a member of the United States Congress,” Lippold said.  “I’ve never run for public office before. I’m not a career politician and I don’t intend to be one. But there are times when the call to serve cannot be ignored. This is one of those times.”

Commander Lippold was in command of the USS Cole when it was attacked by al Qaeda terrorists in Yemen on October 12, 2000.  He and his crew were able to save the ship, which remains in service today.  Since retiring from the Navy in 2007 after 26 years of service, Lippold has served as Senior Fellow for Military Families United, a nonprofit organization dedicated to advocating for families who have lost loved ones in service to this country.“I’m proud of what I’ve accomplished in my career but I am not content to sit still while Nevadans are struggling as they are today.  Solving crucial problems will require the type of steadfast leadership and resolve I’ve demonstrated throughout my life,” Lippold said.  

“I think the people of Nevada have rightfully had it with the same old rhetoric and career politicians. They are ready to embrace new conservative leadership and a vision to return our state to prosperity.  My campaign will be a crusade for the taxpayers of my district.  I will fight every day to shrink the role of government, get Nevadans back to work, and pay down the national debt.”

Nevada is gaining a House seat, so the district lines will change. Dean Heller, a Republican, is the current congressman, and he’s running for the state’s open Senate seat in 2012. The district, under its current lines, scores R+5 in the Cook Partisan Voting Index; Heller has won pretty handily in recent cycles.

Tags: Dean Heller , Kirk Lippold

Report: Heller’s Running for Senate in Nevada



Text  



This is not surprising, but former NRO Battle ’10 contributor Elizabeth Crum is reporting that Rep. Dean Heller of Nevada will indeed run for Senate, as many expected.

As mentioned earlier, Heller is a former stockbroker, a two-term member of the Nevada house, and a three-term secretary of state. In 2006, one of the Republicans he faced in the House primary was . . . Sharron Angle, a name familiar to those who followed last year’s Senate race. He beat her by 421 votes. He won by 11 percent while McCain and Obama were splitting his district evenly in 2008, and he won 63 percent of the vote in 2010.

His lifetime ACU rating is 89 out of 100.

Tags: Dean Heller

Senator Ensign to Announce . . . Retirement.



Text  



We may see another open Senate seat soon:

Nevada Sen. John Ensign is scheduled to announce plans on what his office is calling his “political future” Monday in Las Vegas.The GOP lawmaker has been embroiled in controversy in recent years with news of an affair with a former staffer’s wife.Sen. Ensign is slated to make an announcement at a news conference at the George Federal Courthouse at 12 p.m.

How often do embattled incumbent senators go to federal courthouses to hold press conferences to announce that they are indeed running for reelection?

If Ensign does not seek reelection, you will probably see many Republicans sighing relief, as the scandals appear to have made Ensign damaged goods. Recent polls show Ensign in bad shape; his chances in the GOP primary look pretty meager, trailing U.S. Rep. Dean Heller 38 percent to 53 percent. If Ensign chooses to not seek another term, Heller, reportedly chewing over a run, will probably feel pretty good about his odds.

UPDATE: If you were choosing to announce you were running for another term, would you pick the exact same spot from which you publicly admitted the affair? Sure, one of his district offices is there, but if you want people to look past a scandal, you would want the visuals of your announcement to be as far as humanly possible from the spot where you revealed the news, no?

ANOTHER UPDATE: Roll Call gets the official word first:

Sen. John Ensign is expected to announce at an afternoon news conference in Las Vegas that he will retire rather than face a brutal 2012 re-election campaign, according to knowledgeable sources.

For Republicans, this is addition by subtraction. Winning a Senate race in Nevada in a presidential year is difficult enough; had Ensign won the GOP primary, Democrats would have lambasted him for the affair, poor judgment, effort to help his mistress’s husband get a lucrative job, etc. Presuming Heller is the nominee, the Republicans will be running a former stockbroker, two-term member of the Nevada house and three-term secretary of state. In 2006, one of the Republicans he faced in the House primary was . . . Sharron Angle, a name familiar to those who followed last year’s Senate race. He beat her by 421 votes. He won by 11 percent while McCain and Obama were splitting his district evenly in 2008 and he won 63 percent of the vote in 2010.

His lifetime ACU rating is 89 out of 100.

YET ANOTHER UPDATE: Sen. John Cornyn, chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, responds:

I thank Senator Ensign for his nearly two decades of public service. Next year’s Senate race in Nevada will now come down to a clear choice between two competing visions for our country — between a Republican candidate who believes in smaller government, fiscal responsibility and creating good, private sector jobs, and a Democrat candidate who believes in keeping our country on the same reckless fiscal path of more government and higher taxes. Republicans welcome this choice and I am confident we will successfully retain this seat as we work to win back a new Senate Republican majority.

Tags: Dean Heller , Jon Ensign

This Nevada Primary Challenge Might Raise Some Hell-er



Text  



Help us, Congressman Heller. You’re our only hope . . . to avoid risking a Senate seat on a deeply flawed incumbent Republican in a state certain to get enormous attention in the presidential race!

According to the Las Vegas Sun, Rep. Dean Heller strongly hinted that he’ll make a primary challenge against Sen. John Ensign by releasing a poll showing him leading a hypothetical matchup among Nevada Republicans, 53 percent to 38 percent. When releasing the poll, Heller issued a statement saying he was taking a “serious look” at a Senate bid. (And with numbers like that, why not?)

Heller is one of the few Republicans newly elected to the House of Representatives in 2006, a former stockbroker, two-term member of the Nevada house and three-term secretary of state. In 2006, one of the Republicans he faced in the House primary was . . . Sharron Angle, a name familiar to those who followed last year’s Senate race. He beat her by 421 votes. In his R+5 district, Heller had Pres. George W. Bush campaign for him twice, and he won, 50 percent to 45 percent. He won 63 percent of the vote in 2010.

His lifetime ACU rating is 89 out of 100.

Tags: Dean Heller , John Ensign

Sign up for free NRO e-mails today:

Subscribe to National Review