Masto Defeats Heck in Bid for Harry Reid’s Senate Seat

Republican congressman falls despite late disavowal of Trump

Catherine Cortez Masto
Catherine Cortez Masto / AP

Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto prevailed in her Senate bid late on Tuesday night, besting Republican Rep. Joe Heck in the contest for the Nevada Senate seat held by retiring Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid.

Masto, the state's former attorney general and Reid's hand-picked successor, provided a bright spot for Democrats on an otherwise bleak night, winning her race as Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump inched closer to a stunning upset win.

Heck, a former Army Brigadier General, attempted late in the race to distance himself from Trump in the wake of video showing Trump making lewd comments about women on an NBC set.

Masto received significant support from national Democrats, including President Barack Obama, who campaigned in the state during the home stretch. Reid also put significant energy into keeping his seat in the Democratic column.

The daughter of Las Vegas political powerbroker Manny Cortez, Masto is the first Hispanic woman elected to the U.S. Senate.