GOP candidate bows out after Trump tweets suggestion about race

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Literally 12 minutes after President Trump tweeted out a suggestion that a Nevada Republican should drop his challenge against another GOP senator and run for Congress instead, the challenger’s wife replied in a tweet that her husband would follow Trump’s advice, although a press release from Tarkanian indicates the arrangement was made behind the scenes over the past two days.

Daniel Tarkanian, 56, a Republican businessman in Nevada, had announced he would be running for U.S. Senate against incumbent Dean Heller in the 2018 Republican primary.

Tarkanian, who is the grandson of Nevada basketball legend Jerry Tarkanian, has ran and lost in multiple elections since 2004. His bid against Heller was going to put the GOP in jeopardy of losing the seat.

Friday morning, Trump tweeted, “It would be great for the Republican Party of Nevada, and its unity if good guy Danny Tarkanian would run for Congress and Dean Heller, who is doing a really good job, could run for Senate unopposed!”

After President Trump’s tweet, Tarkanian’s wife, Amy, replied in a Twitter post, saying, “Thank you Mr. President for supporting my husband @DannyTarkanian & the Nevada Republican Party overall. He would’ve made an excellent Senator, but will also make a tremendous member of Congress…looking fwd to continuing the fight in helping implement America first policies!”

Tarkanian released a press release stating, “Late Wednesday, the President and members of his political team reached out to me and asked me to consider supporting the America First agenda as a Congressional candidate by running again in CD3, where I nearly won in 2016 in what was one of the most expensive and closest Congressional races in America.”

“This was not something I ever considered,” Tarkanian stated, adding, “I am confident I would have won the US Senate race and done a great job representing the people of Nevada in the Senate, but the President is adamant that a unified Republican ticket in Nevada is the best direction for the America First movement. With President Trump’s full support and endorsement, I am filing to run again in CD3 with the firm believe that we will finish what we started in 2016 and win in 2018.”

The Hill reported: Heller is seen as one of the most vulnerable incumbent senators of the 2018 cycle and Tarkanian’s candidacy adds a measure of uncertainty to Heller’s reelection bid. The challenger has repeatedly panned Heller for not endorsing Trump during the 2016 presidential campaign and has more recently accused Heller of not being conservative enough on issues like health care and immigration. 

Tarkanian’s bid was initially seen as a major stumbling block for Heller that could complicate his ability to win votes from the party’s right flank and he performed surprisingly strong in early primary polls. But Tarkanian’s top supporter had been former White House chief strategist Stephen Bannon, who fell out of favor with the White House after he was quoted blasting the president’s family in a recent book.

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