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Rosen announces 2024 election plans with few Republican challengers so far

Updated April 5, 2023 - 7:30 pm

U.S. Sen. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., officially launched her 2024 campaign for re-election Wednesday in what is expected to be another close Senate race in the battleground Silver State.

Rosen launched her campaign with an online video, where she explained her roots growing up in a working-class family, serving as a waitress at Caesars Palace in college, being the first in her family to graduate from college and climbing her way up in the male-dominated computer programming field.

In 2016, Rosen won her race for the 3rd Congressional District, flipping a competitive Republican-held district that’s been in Democratic hands ever since. When she ran for Senate in 2018 and beat Republican incumbent U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, she was the only Democratic challenger in the country to unseat a Republican incumbent that year.

In her campaign video, Rosen touted accomplishments such as rebuilding infrastructure with the passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law and co-sponsoring a law with senior U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., to cap the cost of insulin for seniors.

She wants to continue serving in the Senate to attach issues such as lowering costs for middle class families, defending abortion rights, tackling the climate crisis and protecting social security and Medicare, she said in her video.

“With so many important fights ahead, it’s why I’m officially launching my re-election campaign today,” Rosen said in the video. “What happens in Nevada in 2024 could once again decide control of the Senate. Nevada is always a battleground, and this Senate race will be one of the toughest in the country.”

The Cook Political Report, an independent, nonpartisan newsletter that analyzes elections and campaigns for major races in the country, labeled Nevada’s Senate race as “lean Democrat,” with the only toss-up U.S. Senate races being Kyrsten Sinema’s in Arizona, Sherrod Brown’s in Ohio and Joe Manchin’s in West Virginia, although those labels could change as candidates enter races.

Civil rights attorney Ronda Kennedy and Stephanie Phillips, a Las Vegas Realtor, have entered the race for Senate as Republican candidates. Kennedy has raised $100 so far, according to campaign finance reports, and Phillips has not raised anything yet. Rosen has raised $8 million.

Several other figures could throw their hat in the ring, including attorney April Becker, who ran an unsuccessful campaign for Congress in 2022 and state Senate in 2020; Sen. Minority Leader Heidi Seevers Gansert, R-Reno; and Rick Harrison from History Channel’s “Pawn Stars.”

Whoever goes up against Rosen could face a tough battle, as Rosen is considered one of the most bipartisan senators. In the 2021 congressional session, she was ranked as the ninth-most bipartisan for her ability to work across the aisle. But a lawmaker’s first re-election is almost always considered their most vulnerable.

After Rosen launched her re-election campaign, Nevada State Democratic Party Chair Daniele Monroe-Moreno called Rosen a “tireless fighter” for Nevadans who has a track record of “putting politics aside to build consensus, solve problems, and be an independent voice who puts our state’s priorities first.”

The Nevada Republican Party said in a statement that Rosen has a track record of standing up only for “far-Left Democrat Socialist Nevadans, leaving anyone who doesn’t support her radical left-wing policies.”

As an example, the state Republican Party mentioned Rosen’s support in launching 87,000 IRS agents who target tipped workers that make up the hospitality industry. The claim stems from a May 2021 Treasury Department report that the agency would be able to hire 87,000 employees by 2031, according to Time. Those employees would not necessarily be agents or be new positions, and more than half of the IRS’ current employees are eligible for retirement in the next five years and are expected to leave.

“Nevada is a swing state, but Jacky Rosen has been a rubber stamp for the Biden agenda of putting the working-class last,” the Nevada Republican Party said. “We look forward to defeating her in 2024 by championing common sense principles such as letting Nevadans keep more of their own money and pushing back against the far-left agenda targeting our kids.”

Contact Jessica Hill at jehill@reviewjournal.com. Follow @jess_hillyeah on Twitter.

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