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Democrats Look to Pick Up Two Seats in Nevada

Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo
Former Rep. Dina Titus has declared her intent to run for the House again after losing Nevada’s 3rd district seat to Rep. Joe Heck in the last election.

Democrats are looking to win the three Las Vegas-area districts that court-appointed special masters drew in a proposed map released Friday.

A district judge must approve the plan next week before it can move forward, and then the state Supreme Court will hear arguments on the redistricting process as a whole in a Nov. 14 hearing.

The map isn't final, but the preliminary lines have allowed the Congressional candidates and their districts to coalesce.

Democrats have five candidates running in the three Clark County districts, one of which was added in reapportionment. They hope the new map allows them to win the open 1st district of Rep. Shelley Berkley (D), who is running for Senate; the new 4th district located in North Las Vegas and rural counties to the north; and GOP Rep. Joe Heck's 3rd district, which includes the southern half of Clark County.

Republicans expect to hold the 2nd district that Rep. Mark Amodei won in last month's special election. They hope to hold Heck's district and, if everything went their way, possibly even compete in the 4th. But under the proposed lines, a 2-2 split in Nevada's Congressional delegation would be a win for the GOP as the Democrats aim to take three of the four districts.

"In addition to winning the presidential and Senate elections next year, taking back a majority in the Congressional delegation is absolutely a top priority," Nevada Democratic Party spokesman Zach Hudson said.

Republicans had hoped the court would draw a Hispanic-majority district, which likely would have resulted in a safer district for Heck. But that didn't happen under the proposed map.

According to preliminary past performance figures, President Barack Obama would have carried the 1st district with 65 percent, the 3rd district with 54 percent and the 4th district with 56 percent. Obama also would have slightly carried the 2nd district, but it is unlikely Democrats would strongly compete there after a convincing Amodei victory last month in a similar district.

Assembly Speaker John Oceguera is already running against Heck in the 3rd district.

"It's time to replace Joe Heck with someone with a proven track record of getting results," Oceguera wrote in a fundraising solicitation sent Wednesday.

Oceguera has signed up a top-rate consulting team, including Jason Ralston and John Lapp of Ralston Lapp Media, Pete Brodnitz of Benenson Strategy Group for polling and Achim Bergmann of the Baughman Company for direct mail.

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