Heller ends rumors of Nevada governor run with re-election announcement

U.S. Sen. Dean Heller on Thursday announced his intentions to run for re-election in 2018, quashing rumors of a potential run for governor during the same year.

“My family and I have put much thought and prayer in considering the best way to serve the state that we love. I believe serving and running for re-election as Nevada’s senior Senator is where I can do the most good and have the biggest impact for Nevada,” Heller said in a Facebook post.

The Republican senator was considered a strong candidate to succeed the term-limited Gov. Brian Sandoval, if Heller had chosen to run for the spot in 2018.

“Serving as governor would be an enormous honor, but I am looking forward to being Nevada’s strongest voice on Capitol Hill,” Heller said in the post.

Two other Republicans, Attorney General Adam Laxalt and Lt. Gov. Mark Hutchison, are rumored to be in the mix for the gubernatorial bid.

On the Democrat side, Clark County Commission Chairman Steve Sisolak has been the only big name to show interest. Sisolak, who toyed with the idea of running against Sandoval in 2014, hasn’t said if he will run for governor in 2018. But should he decide to run, he would have about $3 million in the campaign fundraising bank.

Heller was appointed to the senate by Sandoval in 2011 after the the resignation of fellow Republican John Ensign. Heller was elected to the Senate in 2012, defeating Democrat Shelley Berkley.

Before his appointment to the Senate, Heller was a representative for Nevada’s 2nd Congressional District, a three-term Nevada Secretary of State and served two terms in the Nevada Assembly.

Contact Colton Lochhead at or 702-383-4638. Follow @ColtonLochhead on Twitter.

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