Ballotpedia's 2012 General Election Preview Articles: Nevada Congressional Seats

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November 2, 2012

By Ballotpedia's Congressional team

Nevada's Congressional Elections in 2012
U.S. Senate Election? U.S. House seats Possible competitive races?
Yes 4 3 (Senate,3rd, 4th. )

CARSON CITY: Nevada: Nevada has four U.S. House seats and one U.S. Senate seat on the ballot in 2012. In the redistricting following the 2010 census, Nevada gained one Congressional District, the 4th.

Currently, the Republican Party holds two of the three current Congressional seats and the U.S. Senate seat up for election on November 6th.

All polling places in Nevada will be open from 7:00 AM to 7:00 PM Pacific Time.[1]

See also: State Poll Opening and Closing Times (2012)

U.S. Senate

Republican incumbent Dean Heller, first appointed to the U.S. Senate in 2010, is seeking re-election in 2012. Heller was appointed to the Senate last year after Republican John Ensign resigned. Heller served as Nevada's secretary of state before being elected to the U.S. House to represent Northern Nevada in 2006. He is challenged by Democratic candidate Shelley Berkley, currently the representative for Nevada's 1st Congressional District.

In July 2012, the House Ethics Committee announced an investigation of Shelley Berkley after she acted to prevent a federal agency from closing a kidney transplant center to which her husband, Dr. Larry Lehrner, had financial ties.[2] The race continues to be a close one, with Heller maintaining only a slight lead in polls. According to the Cook Political Report race ratings, this race is a toss-up.[3]

State General Election Candidates Incumbent 2012 Winner Partisan Switch?
Nevada Class 1 Senate seat

Democratic Party Shelley Berkley
Republican Party Dean Heller

Constitution_Party#Independent_American_Party_of_Nevada David Lory VanderBeek
Dean Heller Pending Pending

U.S. House

In the 3rd District, Republican incumbent Joe Heck Democratic candidate John Oceguera. After a competitive race, Heck appears to have the lead in the weeks before the election. Heck won an endorsement from the liberal-leaning Las Vegas Sun, which endorsed only four Republicans for all positions in this election cycle. The Sun praised his work in Washington during his first term and argued that he ought to keep his seat.[4]

The new 4th District is open to candidates Steven Horsford(D) and Danny Tarkanian(R), the son of former UNLV basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian. Democrats hold an advantage among registered voters in the new district, but Tarkanian's name recognition and efforts in rural areas of the district have made for a very close race. The race has been marked by dramatic moments for each of the candidates. In October, Tarkanian and other members of his family were fined $17 million after a real estate deal in California went bad. Horsford, current senate majority leader, has been criticized for his dealings with organizations in Las Vegas that were later found guilty of bribery, fraud and corruption.[5]

Here is a complete list of U.S. House candidates appearing on the general election ballot in Nevada:

Members of the U.S. House from Nevada -- Partisan Breakdown
Party As of November 2012 After the 2012 Election
     Democratic Party 1 2
     Republican Party 2 2
Total 3 4
 Congressional Redistricting Map, approved October 2011 

For more information, view Redistricting in Nevada.

See also