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Heck, Cortez Masto files as candidate for U.S. Senate

U.S. Rep. Joe Heck filed Monday to run on the Republican ticket for U.S. Senate. Catherine Cortez Masto filed Tuesday to run on the Democratic ticket.

They are running for the Senate seat of outgoing U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev.

Cortez Masto, the former Nevada attorney general, had announced her run in April. Heck announced in July. The open Senate race is one of a few that could tilt either way in the election cycle, and the election will be nationally watched as Democrats and Republicans wrestle for control of the Senate.

“I think the stakes are extremely large,” Heck said. “This is going to be a critical race determining who controls the majority of the Senate come 2017. That’s why we are very excited to try to put this back in Republican hands for the first time in 30 years.”

Heck, a brigadier general in the Army Reserve, is also a doctor who has worked as an emergency room physician.

Reid is supporting Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto. Active campaigning on both sides is already well underway.

Cortez Masto’s campaign on Monday announced it has launched her first Spanish-language television ad. The ad, titled “La Familia,” gives viewers a look at Cortez Masto’s background, including her family’s roots, her father’s rise from a job parking cars to leading the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, and Cortez Masto’s work as state attorney general.

The Cortez Masto campaign last week launched its first statewide TV ad in English, a six-figure buy that’s running in Las Vegas and Reno markets.

Heck and Cortez Masto are by far the most prominent candidates of either party in the Senate race and the best-financed.

Plenty of others are interested in the job, too. The race has attracted 11 other Republican, Democratic, independent and third-party candidates. Democrats Bobby Mahendra and Liddo O’Briant have filed. Republicans who have filed include D’Nese Davis, Eddie Hamilton, Robert Leeds, Carlo “Mazunga” Poliak, and Juston Preble. Independent candidates Tony Gumina, Thomas “Tom” Sawyer and Jarrod Williams have filed. Independent American Party candidate Tom Jones has also filed.

Heck has been elected to three terms in the 3rd Congressional District, and his run for Senate leaves that race open.

The 3rd District goes south of the Las Vegas metropolitan area, covering Henderson and rural areas, including Searchlight and Laughlin.

The filing period for candidates ends Friday.

Contact Ben Botkin at bbotkin@reviewjournal.com. Find him on Twitter: @BenBotkin1

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