78°F
weather icon Clear

Susie Lee defeats Danny Tarkanian in Nevada’s 3rd Congressional District

Updated November 7, 2018 - 1:33 am

Democrat Susie Lee defeated perennial candidate Danny Tarkanian to win Nevada’s 3rd Congressional District, a battleground race that attracted national attention and millions of dollars in outside spending.

Lee had received 51.4 percent of the vote as of 1:30 a.m. Wednesday. Tarkanian, who trailed with 43.4 percent, conceded the race at about 11:15 p.m.

“Obviously, we’re disappointed with the results. We thought we ran a good race. It wasn’t the outcome we thought it would be,” Tarkanian said, adding that attack ads against him cost him the race. “Obviously people bought into that and believed it. It’s unfortunate that that’s how politics works.”

Tarkanian, 56, has run for office seven times and lost a bid for the CD 3 in 2016 by about 1 percentage point — even while President Donald Trump carried the district. The son of famed basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian planned to run for U.S. Senate until Trump urged him to drop out and run for the House instead.

Since then, Trump tweeted endorsements for Tarkanian at least four times and sent his son, Donald Trump Jr., to campaign for him.

Tarkanian’s wife, Amy Tarkanian, said her husband stood by Trump when others didn’t.

“I pray to God the president takes a look at what happened here,” Amy Tarkanian said, “Because this man was loyal to him.”

Lee, 51, a nonprofit leader, also ran for Congress in 2016, when she came in third in a crowded Democratic primary for the 4th Congressional District.

“It is still very early, and these early numbers are encouraging,” said Lee, who gathered at Caesars Palace with other Democrats to watch election results. “There are still a lot of votes to be counted, but we are optimistic. We have a lot of confidence in the countless volunteers who came out to make their voices heard, and we believe our ground game will deliver a victory when all the votes are counted.”

Democrats took a gamble giving up the seat held by Rep. Jacky Rosen for less than one term so she could run for the Senate. Democrats, who needed to pick up 23 seats in addition to holding CD 3, won control of the House on Tuesday.

The race between Tarkanian and Lee got increasingly vicious. Tarkanian supporters attacked Lee for being wealthy and labeled her an out-of-touch liberal. Lee’s backers hammered Tarkanian over a series of scandals, including allegations that he “set up” telemarketing scams targeting seniors and swindled money from a basketball charity.

Outside money poured into the heated race as national groups spent millions to sway the election. Lee raised $1.78 million in the third quarter, more than double Tarkanian’s $660,000 fundraising haul.

Lee and Tarkanian ran against Libertarian Steve Brown, Independent American Party candidate Harry Vickers and Independents Gil Eisner, David Goossen and Tony Gumina.

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

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Politics Videos
Bernie Sanders Unveils Affordable Housing Plan - Video
Bernie Sanders sits down with the Las Vegas Review-Journal to talk about his new affordable housing plan he unveiled at Plumbers & Pipefitters.
Jim Marchant talks gun control and Dreamers - Video
Republican Candidate for District 4 Jim Marchant talks about gun control and immigration policies. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Hurricanes, Gender, and Science in the Press
Imagine if the mainstream media’s current hurricane-sized obsession with scientific accuracy applied to gender.
Cory Booker on college tuition and minimum wage
Cory Booker talks on the RJ Politics podcast about college debt, informing workers about their rights and livable wages.
Nevada Politics Today: Teacher raises - VIDEO
Jason Goudie, the chief financial officer for the Clark County School District, talks about teacher pay and raises. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Media's Double Standard On Incitement And Trump - Video
Over the weekend, an Elizabeth Warren-supporting socialist who opposed gun violence used a rifle to commit a mass murder in Dayton, Ohio. The media has downplayed that aspect of the tragedy.
Project Our Care Tour Kicks Off In Las Vegas
U.S. Rep. Dina Titus joined health care advocates and local residents as part of Protect Our Care’s nationwide bus tour kick off in Las Vegas on Monday, August 5, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Bernie Sanders talks about guns, response to El Paso shooting
Sen. Bernie Sanders spoke about his response and continued policy ideas about guns and gun control to the Review-Journal after a panel of other topics. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pete Buttigieg On Gun Control And Climate Change - Video
Pete Buttigieg talks about his campaign for the 2020 election and how Nevada is a vision of what the future can be.
Beto O'Rourke speaks in Las Vegas
Presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke spoke to supporters at the East Las Vegas Community Center in Las Vegas, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2019. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former Nevada Senate leader Kelvin Atkinson sentenced to prison
Former Nevada Senate Majority Leader Kelvin Atkinson, who pleaded guilty to misusing campaign funds, was sentenced to 27 months in prison on Thursday, July 18, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Trumps Strength is also a Weakness - Video
One of Donald Trump’s greatest strengths — his ability to shape national narratives — is also a great weakness.
Tax the Rich Bus Tour makes a stop in Las Vegas - Video
The Tax the Rich Bus has stopped in Las Vegas as part of its summer tour. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Assemblywoman Daniele Monroe-Moreno hosts BBQ - Video
Assembly Woman Daniele Monroe-Moreno hosts BBQ to bring the community together to hear about the candidates up for election and for people to gather and have fun.
Democrat Virtual Caucus - Video
Elizabeth Warren visits Las Vegas
Senator Elizabeth Warren made a campaign stop at the East Las Vegas Community Center on Tuesday July 2, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Aaron Ford Speaks About Bill AB431
AB431 is a bill sponsored by Nevada Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson to restore the right to vote for formerly incarcerated individuals. Attorney General Aaron Ford spoke at the AM&E Church in North Las Vegas about the bill, on Monday, July 1, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Right Take: Biden's Racially Questionable Comments
Joe Biden has uttered racially charged statements for years. Now that he’s the frontrunner for the Democrat presidential nomination, he may finally face prolonged scrutiny for them.
Christopher Rufo Discusses Homelessness In The USA - VIDEO
Christopher Rufo discusses homelessness in the United States and how politicians can work to improve conditions for those with drug addictions.
THE LATEST
Trump aides heading to Nevada Basque Fry

Several current and former aides to President Donald Trump are headed to the annual Basque Fry, an event sponsored by former Republican Attorney General Adam Laxalt.