Heller slams GOP primary challenger as 'Democrat donor'

Sen. Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerOn The Trail: Democrats plan to hammer Trump on Social Security, Medicare Lobbying World Democrats spend big to put Senate in play MORE (R-Nev.) has launched new ads targeting his new primary opponent Danny Tarkanian as a Democratic donor, with the ads coming the same day that Tarkanian announced his intention to challenge Heller in the Republican primary.

Digital ads first reported by Nevada Independent reporter Riley Snyder label Tarkanian as a “Democrat donor” who is “wrong for Nevada.” Tarkanian, a wealthy businessman, has run unsuccessfully for office as a Republican several times before, most recently in 2016 against Rep. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) — now the leading Democratic candidate in the race against Heller.

Tarkanian announced his candidacy early Tuesday morning on Fox News, and followed up with a statement on his website. Tarkanian has indeed donated to Democrats before, according to the Independent, giving $950 to then-Rep. Shelley Berkley (D-Nev.) in 1998.

In a statement on Heller’s website, Heller campaign spokesman Tommy Ferraro said that no one was “surprised” by Tarkanian’s new bid.

“We are not surprised. Danny Tarkanian is a perennial candidate who has spent millions of dollars on five campaigns over the last decade. Nevada voters have rejected him every time — including less than a year ago against Jacky Rosen,” Ferraro wrote.

“He’s wasted conservatives’ time and cost the Republican Party seats up and down the ballot. If he ultimately files for U.S. Senate he will lose in the primary,” the statement continued. “Dean Heller is a proven leader and is the only candidate with a solid record voters can count on.”

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In his own statement, Tarkanian proclaims himself a supporter of the president and vows to fight against the “liberals” in the Republican Party — a potential reference to Heller.

“I am a conservative Republican who supports the policies of President Trump to repeal Obamacare and end illegal immigration,” Tarkanian wrote.  

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“I will join Senator Lee, Senator Cruz, and Senator Paul fighting for real reforms against the liberals in our party.”

Heller is considered the most vulnerable GOP senator on the ballot in 2018, since he’s running in a state that Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonWhite House accuses Biden of pushing ‘conspiracy theories’ with Trump election claim Biden courts younger voters — who have been a weakness Trayvon Martin’s mother Sybrina Fulton qualifies to run for county commissioner in Florida MORE won in 2016.

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