RENO, Nev. (AP) — Tea party favorite Sharron Angle was trying Tuesday to unseat the incumbent Republican in the GOP's strongest congressional district in Nevada, where two other Democrat-held open seats will be up for grabs in November.
Angle is considered a long shot to knock off four-term Republican Rep. Mark Amodei in the rural 2nd District covering all of northern Nevada.
She has argued she is more true to conservative principles and has attacked Amodei for willingness to consider granting amnesty to immigrants in the country illegally.
Democrats have focused their attention on defending two open seats in southern Nevada that could play an important role in the party's bid to cut into Republican majorities in Congress.
They must win at least 23 seats to take control of the House.
Rep. Jacky Rosen's departure from the 3rd District race to challenge Sen. Dean Heller in the Senate, and Rep. Ruben Kihuen's decision to forgo re-election in the 4th District amid allegations of sexual misconduct puts both seats in play in the swing state.
Former Reps. Cresent Hardy, a Republican, and Steven Horsford, a Democrat, were favored to win their primaries Tuesday in the 4th District. Horsford, an ex-state lawmaker from Las Vegas, became the first African-American to represent Nevada in Congress when he won the 4th District seat in 2012.
Hardy, another former legislator from Mesquite, defeated him in 2014 then lost in 2016 to Kihuen. The swing district stretches from north of Las Vegas through four rural counties.
Las Vegas Democrat Susie Lee and Republican Danny Tarkanian were expected to cruise to victory in the 3rd District after the son of legendary UNLV basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian abandoned his primary bid to unseat Heller, bowing to pressure from President Trump and others.
Tarkanian and Lee each raised well over $1 million in their primary campaigns for what promises to be the most expensive congressional race in Nevada this fall.
Tarkanian has won three previous GOP primaries, but never a general election. He lost to Rosen in 2016 by fewer than 4,000 votes in the 3rd District, which covers much of suburban Las Vegas.
Lee, a fundraiser for education and disadvantaged women, lost in the 2016 primary to Kihuen in the neighboring 4th District. She has been endorsed by former Vice President Joe Biden and has financial backing from environmentalists, labor unions, women's and abortion rights groups.
In the 1st District, Rep. Dina Titus faced a lone, relatively unknown primary challenger, Reuben D'Silva, whom she outspent 6-to-1, and is all but assured of winning re-election to a fifth term in November. Neither of the Republican primary candidates, Joyce Bentley and Fred Horne, reported raising any money.