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
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.
Clark County 2019 Election Results - Video
The 2019 Elections wrap up in Clark County including an upset in the Boulder City Mayor race.
Olivia Diaz talks about her win in Ward 3 - VIDEO
Las Vegas City Councilwoman-elect Olivia Diaz talks about her election win in Ward 3 and what lies ahead for her.
Greene discusses Read by 3 and Opportunity Scholarships - VIDEO
The Nevada Legislative Session is over and the results are mixed for Nevada students, according to Tom Greene, Senior regional legislative director, Excel in Ed in Action.
Bernie Sanders visits Las Vegas
Sen. Bernie Sanders made a stop at Roy W. Martin middle school on Thursday, during his campaign trail.
Kamala Harris campaigns in Las Vegas
Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris castigated President Donald Trump’s merit-based immigration plan, saying it was “short-sighted” and overlooked the cultural significance of family, during a campaign stop in Las Vegas. “We cannot allow people to start parsing and pointing fingers and creating hierarchies among immigrants,” Harris told Asian Pacific Islander leaders at a Chinatown restaurant, one of two appearances she made Thursday.
The Right Take New Education Funding Plan - VIDEO
On Monday, Senate Education Committee chair Mo Denis, D-Las Vegas, released a new education funding formula. For years, many Democrat politicians have criticized the current education funding formula, called the Nevada Plan. They claim it’s old and outdated. Their biggest beef is that it doesn’t allocate more money for students who are English Language Learners or live in poverty. The theory is that it’s harder to educate those students and so they need additional services, which costs additional money.
Kamala Harris campaigns in Nevada
California Senator Kamala Harris meets with One APIA Nevada, a nonprofit organization that advocates for policies empowering Asian Pacific Islander Nevadans. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Ben Carson talks housing (Audio only)
Ben Carson discusses housing with the Review-Journal editorial board on Thursday. (Audio only)
Ben Carson visits the RJ (Full Audio Only)
Ben Carson discusses housing with the Review-Journal editorial board on Thursday. (Audio only)
Former Vice President Joe Biden campaigns in Nevada
After campaigning at the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 16 in Henderson, former Vice President Joe Biden spoke with the Review-Journal.
Student serenades Mayor Carolyn Goodman at swearing in
Students from the school she founded, The Meadows School, serenaded Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman during a swearing in ceremony for her third and final term. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Al Gore Speaks At UNLV About Climate Change - Video
Former Vice President of the United States Al Gore talks to an audience at UNLV about the effects of Climate change and how to switch to renewable sources of energy.
Forum on Wages and Working People Highlights - VIDEO
Presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren, Beto O'Rourke, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Julian Castro, and John Hickenlooper speak in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Nevada Politics Today Valerie Weber - VIDEO
Valerie Weber sits down with Victor Joecks to discuss her policies and why she is running for Ward 2 of the Las Vegas City Council.
Cory Booker speaks at UNLV
US Senator Cory Booker speaks at UNLV during a Young Democrats meet and greet on Thursday, April 18, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)