CARSON CITY — Rep. Dean Heller ducked questions about possible bids for U.S. senator or governor in 2010, telling reporters on Friday a re-election bid is his “plan today.”
The conservative Republican, mentioned as a possible challenger to U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., was asked about his election-year options during a brief news conference that followed a speech to the state Legislature.
Quizzed about possibly challenging GOP Gov. Jim Gibbons, who already has two Republican primary opponents, or Reid next year, Heller said, “I think it’s very clear. I like the job I have. I like the committees I’m on.”
Asked whether he was saying he would not run against Reid, Heller then said, “I didn’t say that. I said my intentions today are to stay right where I am.”
Another attempt by reporters to pin him down, by asking whether he was going to seek re-election, got a similar response: “That’s my plan today.”
Asked who should run against Reid, who already has several million dollars banked for his bid for a fifth Senate term, Heller said, “I don’t think I’m in the job of calling the shots. I think we have candidates out there, and I will support whoever it is.”
On other subjects, Heller told legislators and reporters that he was disappointed with the stimulus bill recently approved by Congress. “The final product was a raw deal for Nevadans and for American taxpayers,” he said.
Nevada, with its high unemployment and foreclosure rates, was “at the bottom of the list for assistance” under the stimulus package, he added.