Dem Rep. to Contest Sen. Heller in Key 2018 Nevada Race

Sen. Dean Heller / Getty Images

Rep. Jacky Rosen (D., Nev.) announced Wednesday that she will seek the Democratic nomination to contest Sen. Dean Heller (R., Nev.) in the 2018 midterm election.

Democrats see Heller's seat as a key target for attempting to retake the Senate, the Associated Press reports.

Rosen is a freshman congresswoman who was elected in 2016. Hers was one of the few seats that flipped from Republican to Democrat in that election cycle.

Nevada in general is often considered a purple, or bipartisan, state. It voted for Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election, and voted for Barack Obama in the preceding two. A growing population of urban Las Vegas, which Rosen partially represents, is thought to contribute to this pro-Democrat trend.

Upon her announcement, Republicans attacked Rosen for her lack of political experience and her ties to former Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D., Nev.).

State GOP Chairman Michael McDonald and Executive Director Greg Bailor called Rosen's Senate bid an "untrustworthy, self-serving, and ambitious jump."

One issue expected in the race is the Senate version of the American Health Care Act, Republicans' alternative to Obamacare. Heller told Politico on Tuesday that he will only back the bill if it is good for Nevada.

Rosen opposed the bill when it was voted on in the House, calling it "shameful" that Republicans had not waited for a Congressional Budget Office score before voting on the bill.