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Campaign 2018: Nevada Dems file 5th complaint against Heller

Nevada Democrats filed another ethics complaint against U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, alleging the Republican is exploiting his official position to boost his campaign for re-election.

State Democratic Party leaders this past week accused Heller of using an official Senate photo on his campaign website, marking the fifth complaint Democrats have filed against Heller this cycle.

“Once again, Sen. Heller has been caught red-handed trying to use his taxpayer-funded office and elected position to bolster his struggling re-election campaign,” said William McCurdy II, chair of the Nevada State Democratic Party. “This is the kind of sloppy and unethical conduct Nevadans have come to expect from Sen. Heller as he desperately tries to hold onto political power this year.”

The Heller campaign said the photo is not a use of government resources because it was taken from Flickr and was in the public domain. The photo remains on the website.

“This latest frivolous complaint shows just how weak Nevada Democrats perceive their anointed candidate, Jacky Rosen,” Heller spokesman Keith Schipper said. “If Rosen respected our tax dollars, she would demand her political party quit wasting them in shameless attempts to distract Nevadans from the fact that she has been a complete failure in Congress.”

With a field of lesser-known competitors in the June 12 primary, Heller and Rosen have gone after each other for months. An Axios online poll released this past week showed Rosen favored over Heller 50 percent to 44 percent, with a 6 percent margin of error. The expected November matchup is expected to be one of the most competitive Senate races in the country.

Heller has four opponents primary opponents, and Rosen, who is leaving her seat in the 3rd Congressional District, is one of six candidates in the June 12 election. Only Heller and Rosen have held elected office.

Endorsements and events

— A slew of endorsements were announced this past week, many from the Service Employees International Union, which released a list of 42 candidates it will back. Democrat Catherine Byrne was given the nod for controller and Democrat Zach Conine for treasurer. Conine also was endorsed by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 357.

— The Republican National Hispanic Assembly of Nevada endorsed Attorney General Adam Laxalt, who is running for governor.

— The United Food and Commercial Workers endorsed state Senate Majority Leader Aaron Ford in his run for attorney general.

Wes Duncan, a Republican running for attorney general, was endorsed by the Nevada chapter of the Associated Builders and Contractors.

— Republican Lt. Gov. candidate Scott LaFata won an endorsement from the Nevada Veterans Association.

— The Nevada Senate Democrats are hosting a campaign event for Julie Pazina, a first-time candidate running in Senate District 20. The event is from 6 to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday at 2484 Maple Berry Court. To RSVP, email rsvp@nvsenatedems.com.

Contact Ramona Giwargis at rgiwargis@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4538. Follow @RamonaGiwargis on Twitter.

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