Rep Joe Heck announced Monday he'll run for Senate in Nevada, giving Republicans a top pick in a crucial contest that could determine Senate control.
"I see a Nevada of unlimited opportunity, a place with better jobs, higher wages and the chance to rise as far as the path will take us," the GOP lawmaker said in a video announcing his Senate run. "And that’s why I’m running for the United States Senate."
"I think my life’s experiences make me ideally qualified," Heck said on conservative radio station KDWN Monday morning.
Heck was initially hesitant to run for the seat being vacated by retiring Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, but his view began to shift in the spring.
In May, Heck told Nevada GOP operatives he was close to entering the race , but waited until after Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval officially announced he would not run . Sandoval was the top Republican choice, but he never had any interest in running, according to multiple operatives in the Silver State.
President Barack Obama carried the district, located in the southern suburbs of Las vegas, twice. Heck first won it in the 2010 Republican wave, and was re-elected twice by large margins.
GOP state Senate Majority Leader Michael Roberson is expected to run for the seat. Republican Las Vegas City Councilman Bob Beers could also run, creating a challenge from the right.
Democrats will heavily target the seat, now that Heck is out of the contest.
The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee is courting former Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller to run. A number of Democrats running in the neighboring 4th District also could move over to run in the 3rd.