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This Nevada House District Could Be a 2018 Bellwether

Rep. Jacky Rosen (D-NV) is giving up her House seat to run for Senate, just as former Rep. Joe Heck (R-NV) did in 2016…

Jacky Rosen

Democrats, angered at losing the House, Senate and White House in 2016, are viewing the 2018 midterms as their big opportunity to put points on the board.

To that end, Rep. Jacky Rosen (D-NV) announced earlier this month she would challenge Sen. Dean Heller (R-NV), at the behest of retired former Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), 77.

And while that Senate race is sure to attract much attention in the coming months, Rosen’s vacated seat, Nevada’s Third Congressional District, will become a partisan battleground as well.

Previously held by Dr. Joe Heck (R-NV), the U.S. Army Brigadier General gave up the seat to run for Senate in 2016, ultimately losing to Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV).

One Democrat name has emerged as a potential candidate for the Third District:

Democrats most often point to philanthropist Susie Lee as a potential contender. Lee, board chairwoman of the Nevada chapter of Communities in Schools, a nonprofit that focuses on keeping students enrolled, was recruited to run in the 3rd District last cycle. But she opted for the 4th District instead, which is more Democratic-leaning, and finished third in the primary behind now-Rep. Ruben Kihuen.

According to multiple sources, she is now considering a run in the 3rd District and has spoken with national Democrats including EMILY’s List. That group, which backs female candidates who support abortion rights, endorsed Lee in 2016.

Two names on the GOP side have emerged as possible contenders:

State Sen. Scott Hammond filed paperwork to run earlier this month. Hammond had decided to run before Rosen launched her Senate campaign, according to a source with knowledge of his decision.

His campaign has been in contact with the National Republican Congressional Committee, but so has another potential contender: professional golfer Natalie Gulbis.

According to Roll Call, Gulbis is a Trump supporter who spoke at the RNC Convention in 2016.

With over a year to go until the general election, time will tell if this hotly-contested Nevada House seat will become a bellwether for the 2018 midterms.