As U.S. Sen. John Ensign
of Nevada steps down, the political scrum to fill his seat has picked up among Republican and Democratic hopefuls, the Las Vegas Sun reported Tuesday.
State Rep. Dean Heller is considered the frontrunner for the GOP nod.
Republican leaders are trying to tamp down any suggestions of a big primary fight now that Ensigns’ move makes the seat a more likely Republican win.
Meanwhile, Democrats must figure out who their strongest candidate may be.
Republicans are working to line up support for Heller, who is expected to make an announcement soon. Last month, an internal poll showed that he is the strongest candidate in a Republican field that included Ensign, by a 15-point margin.
Heller may be the favorite, but others are considering challenging him in a primary.
Former Assemblywoman Sharron Angle, a Reno Republican, who lost to Sen. Harry Reid last year, has indicated an interest. Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki also has signaled his interest in jumping into the race.
National Republicans want to avoid a primary and have set their sights on the general election already.
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