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Amodei says he won't run for Senate in 2024

Gabby Birenbaum
Gabby Birenbaum

No Nevada Republicans have officially entered the race to challenge Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV) for re-election to the Senate in 2024, but at least one potential candidate is staying out of the race.

Rep. Mark Amodei (R-NV) – Nevada’s sole Republican in Congress – said he plans to continue to serve in the House of Representatives.

“For me, it feels like I’m where I belong,” Amodei said in an interview Thursday. “In terms of contributing to public service at the federal legislative level, I have no desire to enter the whole culture of mini-nationals in running for the Senate.”

Though the seven-term congressman has never run statewide, the National Republican Senatorial Committee likely would have welcomed his entrance into the race as a known candidate with a history of electoral success. Republican Senate candidates have lost four of their last five elections in Nevada, with former Sen. Dean Heller’s (R-NV) narrow 2012 victory being their only victory.

Amodei also decided against a 2022 gubernatorial run, over concerns of the size of the field (there were 15 people in the Republican primary) and whether a candidate who could win a GOP primary could also navigate needing independent voters to win the general election. He also said at the time that he took the responsibility of being the state’s only Republican in Congress seriously.

Republicans need to recapture two seats in the Senate to win a majority. Nevada, where Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV) just won her 2022 re-election race by less than 1 percent, would be a prime opportunity for a seat flip, although the Cook Political Report rates Rosen’s seat “Lean Democratic.” But with no declared candidates, Rosen, who had a record $4.4 million in her campaign account at the beginning of 2023, continues to build a fundraising advantage.

Other candidates could include retired Army Capt. Sam Brown, who ran against eventual nominee Adam Laxalt in the 2022 Republican primary to challenge Cortez Masto; former Reps. Joe Heck or Cresent Hardy, Heller, Laxalt again, perennial candidate and Douglas County Commissioner Danny Tarkanian, or an outsider like Pawn Stars star Rick Harrison.

But of those theoretical candidates, only Amodei has won an election in the last four years.

Correction: This story was updated to indicate that former Rep. Joe Heck was not a one-term Congressman, as previously stated. Heck served three terms.


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