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Meet the Freshman Rep Who’s Running for Senate Because Harry Reid Encouraged Her To

Jacky Rosen decided to run for U.S. Senate because of a phone call with ex-Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV), she told The Nevada Independent.

Harry Reid

Senate Democrats’ newest candidate for 2018 is running because Harry Reid encouraged her to, she told The Nevada Independent in a profile rolling out her campaign on Wednesday.

Rep. Jacky Rosen (D-NV), a former software programmer who was elected to the House for the first time just eight months ago, announced this week, after much speculation, that she will challenge Sen. Dean Heller (D-NV) next year.

Heller is the only Republican senator running for re-election in 2018 in a state that Donald Trump lost in 2016.

Here are three things that came out of Rosen’s first big interview of her Senate campaign, with the Independent.

REID’S CHOSEN ONE

As mentioned above, Rosen said the retired and unpopular Reid was the inspiration for her run:

Rosen, 59, said that Reid reached out to her at the end of May and asked her to consider running for Senate. The longtime Democratic senator also encouraged Rosen, a former software programmer and synagogue president, to run for Congress in 2016. “He told me to think about it and that’s what I did when I came home to talk to my husband,” Rosen said.

SUPPORTED BY DCCC

An operative from the Washington, D.C.-based Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) is running her campaign:

Danny Kazin, who was the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee’s western political director during the 2016 cycle, will manage Rosen’s campaign.

OPEN TO SINGLE-PAYER

Asked about the health care debate raging in Congress right now, Rosen offered several ideas for fixes to Obamacare. She also said, though, that single-payer is an “interesting idea”:

She said that a single-payer health care system is an “interesting idea” and that would be willing to listen to a proposal that includes it if it’s part of a comprehensive health care plan.

Rosen may yet have a primary challenge on her hands. Rep. Dina Titus (D-NV) spoiled Rosen’s big rollout on Wednesday by reminding Nevadans that she, too, is considering a run for Senate.

Some Senate Democrats think Nevada is a pickup opportunity for them in 2018, but a primary fight would undoubtedly hamper that effort.