Skip to content

Brian Sandoval Won’t Run for Nevada Senate (Video)

Sandoval is not running for Senate in Nevada. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)
Sandoval is not running for Senate in Nevada. (CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Brian Sandoval, the popular Republican governor of Nevada, announced Tuesday he won’t run for the Silver State’s open Senate seat.  

“I have said many times that it is an honor and a privilege to serve as Nevada’s Chief Executive and that I love my job. My heart is in my responsibilities as Governor and continuing to build the New Nevada,” Sandoval said in a statement. “My undivided attention must be devoted to being the best Governor, husband and father I can be. For these reasons, I will not seek the United States Senate seat that will be available in 2016.”  

Though GOP operatives weren’t expecting Sandoval to run for the seat being vacated by retiring Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, Republicans in the state were holding off on announcing bids until Sandoval officially announced his intentions. The governor’s official exit now creates an opening for other Republicans to enter the contest, namely GOP Rep. Joe Heck, the top choice of national Republicans.  

Heck — who represents Nevada’s competitive 3rd District — moved closer to a bid last month.  

If Heck enters the race, he would give Republicans a top recruit in the contest, currently rated Tilts Democrat by the Rothenberg & Gonzales Political Report/Roll Call. President Barack Obama carried Nevada by a 7-point margin in 2012, and a 13-point margin four years earlier.  

On the Democratic side, former Attorney General Catherine Cortez-Masto has backing from Reid and the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. Last month, Democratic Rep. Dina Titus announced she would not seek the seat .

Reid: Unimportant Who Faces Cortez-Masto in Nevada Senate Race

Loading the player...

Related: Why Titus Won’t Run for Reid’s Senate Seat Heck Close to Senate Bid A Silver State Waiting Game Republicans Fear 2010 Redux in Nevada Senate Race Titus Senate Bid Could Shake Up Nevada Races Reid Plans Senate Exit: Not Running for Re-Election Democrats Start With Narrow Advantage in Nevada Roll Call Race Ratings Map: Ratings for Every House and Senate Race in 2016 Get breaking news alerts and more from Roll Call in your inbox or on your iPhone.

Recent Stories

Stopgap funding bills hung up in both chambers

Who are the House Republicans who opposed the stopgap budget bill?

Taking it to the limit — Congressional Hits and Misses

Feinstein broke glass ceilings during decades of Judiciary Committee work

Colleagues honor Feinstein as death leaves Senate vacancy

Sen. Dianne Feinstein, a life in photos