CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Democrats successfully won reelection in Nevada’s two battleground congressional districts, surviving challenges from Republicans in the state.
First-term Rep. Susie Lee won reelection to a second term by defeating former professional wrestler Dan Rodimer in the 3rd District, avoiding the fate of other freshman Democrats who lost reelection bids in Florida, New Mexico and the Midwest.
Republicans believed the Las Vegas-area district offered them their best chance at unseating an incumbent. President Donald Trump won that congressional district in 2016 despite losing Nevada statewide to Hillary Clinton by 2.4 percentage points.
Democratic Rep. Steven Horsford was reelected in the part of the state’s other battleground district, defeating Republican former Assemblyman Jim Marchant.
Lee and Horsford’s victories cement a six-year hold on Nevada’s swing districts, which Democrats have won in the three most recent elections, and helps Democrats hoping to maintain a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives, where many races remain too early to call with votes left to be counted.
The result sends Nevada’s existing delegation back to Washington D.C. In Nevada’s remaining two districts, Rep. Dina Titus, a Las Vegas Democrat, and Rep. Mark Amodei, a Carson City Republican, easily won reelection as expected Tuesday.
Titus, the dean of Nevada’s congressional delegation, was reelected to a fifth term in a rematch with Republican Joyce Bentley in the 1st District, the most urban in the state. Amodei defeated Democratic challenger Patricia Ackerman to claim a sixth term in the sprawling, largely rural 2nd District where no Democrat has ever won.
Democrat Joe Biden won Nevada’s six Electoral College votes on Saturday. The Associated Press called the race in Nevada shortly after Biden had defeated Trump on Saturday to become the 46th president, crossing the threshold of the 270 Electoral College votes he needed with a win in Pennsylvania.
Neither a U.S. Senate seat nor the governorship was on the 2020 ballot in Nevada. The two marquee congressional races drew millions in campaign contributions from both parties.
Based on final fundraising reports, Lee spent more than $4.2 million in District 3. Rodimer countered with $2.2 million and in recent months outraised Lee. Campaign finance filings showed Horsford had outspent Marchant $2.25 million to $1.2 million.
Lee, whose district spans from the California border through Henderson and Boulder City to the Arizona border, said during the campaign that she had to think long and hard before voting to impeach Trump earlier this year and knew it would be used against her during the race. The 6-foot-7 Rodimer campaigned on his wrestling bona fides and said he wanted “to take a folding chair to the Washington D.C. establishment.”
After her win, Lee promised to “pull up a chair and put the federal government to work for the people.” She said she would try to transcend gridlock and represent the voices of constituents whether they voted for her or not.
“We need economic support for Nevadans who lost their jobs because of COVID-19, we need funding for our schools and teachers who are trying to serve our kids virtually, and we need a comprehensive, coordinated strategy to end this pandemic now,” she said in a statement.
The 4th Congressional District where Horsford won reelection stretches from Las Vegas into rural central Nevada. It leans Democratic but has been competitive since the Legislature created it in 2011.
Horsford, a former longtime state senator, became the first African American to represent Nevada in Congress when he won the seat in 2012. He lost his reelection bid in 2014, then recaptured the seat two years ago.
“I am proud of the work we have done from providing quality constituent services to all residents to standing up for access to affordable healthcare, getting people back to work safely and responsibly, and working to crush this virus during this pandemic as your congressman,” he said in a statement on Friday after his race was called.
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