Trump Convinces Tarkanian to Make House Run Instead of Challenging GOP Senator Heller

Danny Tarkanian / Getty Images

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Danny Tarkanian has decided to drop his primary challenge against Sen. Dean Heller (R., Nev.) after President Donald Trump tweeted Friday that Tarkanian should run for a House seat instead.

Trump had previously discussed the matter with Tarkanian, and he agreed to run for Nevada's 3rd Congressional District instead of Heller's Senate seat, the Reno Gazette Journal reports. Trump tweeted that Tarkanian should do just that, and shortly thereafter, news came out about Tarkanian's move.

"It would be great for the Republican Party of Nevada, and it’s unity if good guy Danny Tarkanian would run for Congress and Dean Heller, who is doing a really good job, could run for Senate unopposed!" Trump wrote.

James DeHaven at the Reno Gazette Journal tweeted minutes later to say that Tarkanian was agreeing to the president's request.

The Gazette Journal‘s article confirmed that Tarkanian was ready to file for the congressional seat by noon Friday.

CNN noted Tarkanian may have rankled the president slightly when he tied Heller to Ivanka Trump in order to cast him as a liberal. He said Trump's daughter was formerly a Democrat whose views are "very, very moderate to liberal, compared to the Republican base."

"Dean Heller's saying that he talks to Trump on the phone all the time; talks to Ivanka Trump all the time," Tarkanian said in a radio interview. "Well, Ivanka Trump was a Democrat, and she's very, very moderate to liberal, compared to the Republican base."

I "did not say nor mean to infer a relationship with Ivanka is a bad thing," Tarkanian told CNN. "It is a good thing. She is the daughter of the President."

"But," he said, "she is a registered Democrat and more moderate than the GOP base, which means her political views are probably similar to Heller's views, because he is a moderate to liberal."

Ivanka Trump said in 2016 that she is an independent and votes based on candidates, not their parties.

The president's decision to voice support for Heller indicates he is on better terms with the senator than he was in summer of 2017. Trump then rebuked Heller for not supporting a bill to repeal Obamacare, but reports said the two were able to reconcile aboard Air Force One in October.

Paul Crookston

Paul Crookston   Email Paul | Full Bio | RSS
Paul Crookston is a media analyst with the Washington Free Beacon. He was previously a Collegiate Network fellow at National Review. A 2016 graduate of Gordon College in Wenham, Mass., he served as the managing editor of the Tartan campus newspaper. He is originally from Tampa, Fla., but he still roots for Dad’s Ohio teams. His Twitter handle is @P_Crookston. He can be reached at crookston@freebeacon.com.

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