Trump nudges Danny Tarkanian from Senate race into House race

In this image from video from Senate Television Sen. Dean Heller R-Nev. speaks on the floor of the U.S. Senate Wednesday Oct. 18 2017 on Capitol Hill in Washington

Nevada's Danny Tarkanian had planned to challenge incumbent Senator Dean Heller in the state's Republican Senate primary, but will now run for the House after some advice from President Trump.

Danny Tarkanian speaks during a rally for Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump at the Treasure Island Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada, on June, 18, 2016: JOHN GURZINSKI/AFP/Getty Images.

But Heller was expected to have to go through a bruising GOP primary before the general election against Rosen.

Tarkanian announced he'd undertake another House run (he's lost two previous bids for the House and six different campaigns in the state) nearly immediately after Trump tweeted that he should do so and leave Heller alone, saying he'd done so because Trump asked him Wednesday night.

Trump tweeted that Tarkanian should run for the House, so that Heller can run for the Senate unopposed and Tarkanian swiftly agreed.

In a statement Friday, Heller said he appreciated Trump's support and kind words and said he is focused on winning his re-election. Heller has criticized the president in the past, but more recently became an ally.

The move by Tarkanian to switch races will most likely broaden the divide in the Republican Party rank and file who have been campaigning for months for their favorite candidate in Nevada's crowded Congressional District 3 race. In 2016, Hillary Clinton won Nevada, and the state also elected the state's first female and America's first Latina senator.

Shortly before Tarkanian's official announcement, Trump tweeted his approval of the plan. Last summer, Heller publicly waffled on the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and the president warned that he could lose his seat.

Democrats were quick to attack Tarkanian.

Mr. Heller is seen as a more moderate member in the party who hesitated in supporting Mr. Trump in the 2016 election, but has since said he voted for the president.

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