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Rodimer again running for Congress, this time in Texas

Updated March 9, 2021 - 8:01 am

Dan “Big Dan” Rodimer, the former professional wrestler who lost a bid for Congress in Nevada’s 3rd District in November, has announced another congressional bid, this time in a special election in Texas’ 6th District.

Rodimer is one of 23 candidates — 11 Republicans, 10 Democrats, one Libertarian and one independent — who have filed to run in the special election, following the death of incumbent Congressman Ron Wright in February after being hospitalized with COVID-19.

One of Rodimer’s fellow Republican candidates? Wright’s widow, Susan Wright.

The special election for the seat will be held on May 1. Under the U.S. Constitution, Article 1, Section 2, vacancies in the House of Representatives may be filled only by elections called by the governor. The Constitution imposes no residency requirements on potential members, saying only that a person, when elected, must “be an inhabitant of that state in which he shall be chosen.”

Rodimer listed an address in Mansfield, Texas, in his filing with the Texas secretary of state’s office.

Wrestling, business background

Much like during his unsuccessful bid in Nevada, Rodimer plays up his background as a former pro wrestler, including a picture of him on his website with a championship belt and quotes such as, “Everything’s bigger in Texas — and you can see the size of me. I’m running because we need to fight to keep our constitutional right-friendly states.”

Rodimer is also a law school graduate and businessman.

He lost the 2020 general election to incumbent Rep. Susie Lee in November, 49 percent to 46 percent, a difference of 12,446 votes in a four-person race that also featured a Libertarian and an Independent American Party candidate. Rodimer easily won a six-way primary that featured former state Treasurer Dan Schwartz, who came in a distant second.

But he was dogged on the campaign trail by old allegations stemming from bar fights and 911 calls made to police by his then girlfriend alleging theft and domestic violence. Rodimer fought back with an ad in which that former girlfriend, whom he later married, flatly stated there had been no violence in their household.

After losing the election, Rodimer sued, seeking to overturn the results because of alleged voter fraud. The lawsuit was nearly identical to others filed by losing Republicans, but the attempt was rejected by a Clark County judge.

According to Politico, Rodimer said he’d been encouraged to run by Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, and family members of former President Donald Trump, but he later allowed in written answers to questions that Cruz “thought I should consider a future run but not specifically this seat.”

Las Vegas to Texas pipeline

Rodimer is not the first former Nevada political figure to show up in Texas.

Former Las Vegas Councilwoman and Clark County Commissioner Lynette Boggs McDonald, now known as Lynette Boggs-Perez, moved to Texas in 2008, two years after she was charged in Las Vegas with filing papers falsely claiming she lived in her commission district when an investigation showed she lived elsewhere. She took a plea in the case that acknowledged prosecutors could prove their case against her.

She moved to Texas and graduated from law school. She got into trouble in 2017 when she allegedly refused to return a neighbor’s Maltese/Yorkie puppy that had escaped from its home.

Then in 2018, she was tossed off the ballot in a race for children’s court judge when she allegedly turned in a petition that contained too many invalid signatures to sustain her nomination. The Bexar County Republican Party determined she wouldn’t get a spot on the GOP primary ballot as a result, according to the San Antonio Express News.

Contact Steve Sebelius at SSebelius@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0253. Follow @SteveSebelius on Twitter.

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