Jacky Rosen officially announces run for Dean Heller’s Senate seat

CARSON CITY — First-term U.S. Rep. Jacky Rosen made it official on Thursday: She will challenge U.S. Sen. Dean Heller in the 2018 election.

Rosen, a Democrat, made the long-expected announcement official with a post on Twitter and a statement saying she decided to run to better represent Nevada families in Washington, D.C.

“Now more than ever, Nevadans deserve a senator they can trust to be an independent voice standing up to President (Donald) Trump, not his enabler,” she said in a statement. “Senator Heller might not sound like President Trump, but his voting record shows he supported Trump’s agenda 100 percent of the time in his first 100 days.”

Rosen, former computer programmer and synagogue president, won election to the 3rd Congressional District in November. The Las Vegas seat was open after GOP Rep. Joe Heck ran unsuccessfully for the Senate against Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto.

Rosen noted that Heller is “widely viewed as the weakest Republican senator up for re-election in 2018” and said she has been touted as a “top-tier candidate” in the race.

“As your next senator, I will work tirelessly to strengthen the ladder of economic opportunity for the next generation, whether it’s expanding our clean energy economy, improving our education system for the jobs of the future, raising incomes for working families, or fighting tooth and nail to protect your access to affordable health care,” she said.

Tommy Ferraro, Heller’s campaign spokesperson, compared Rosen to retired Nevada Sen. Harry Reid.

“Thought Nevada was free of Harry Reid? Think again,” Ferraro said on Heller’s campaign website.

Rosen’s announcement provoked an immediate comment from Michael McAdams, regional press secretary for the National Republican Senatorial Committee.

“She is already in the pocket of Nevada’s political puppet-master, Harry Reid, after he hand-picked her to run, and Jacky’s allegiance to Reid is even raising red flags within her own party,” McAdams said in a statement. “Rep. Dina Titus, who has taken on the Reid machine numerous times and won, publicly stated today she’s considering challenging Jacky in a primary.”

Titus is Nevada’s representative in the 1st Congressional District in Las Vegas.

Contact Sean Whaley at swhaley@reviewjournal.com or 775-461-3820. Follow @seanw801 on Twitter.