Stephen Cloobeck, the largest national Democratic Party donor from Nevada and a potential candidate for governor in 2018, will announce Wednesday that he is endorsing Republican Sen. Dean Heller for re-election, The Nevada Independent has learned.
Cloobeck, who founded timeshare giant Diamond Resorts before cashing out last year, is expected to tout Heller's commitment to business and will call him "the right person at the right time for the state of Nevada."
Heller is considered the most vulnerable GOP Senate incumbent and is a major Democratic target for 2018. Rep.s Dina Titus and Jacky Rosen as well as ex-Treasurer Kate Marshall are all considering bids.
Cloobeck could face Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak in a Democratic primary for the right to face likely GOP nominee Adam Laxalt, the attorney general.
Cloobeck's embrace of Heller could, in the eyes of many, disqualify him from the Democratic gubernatorial contest, but I'm told he is still exploring a bid -- and he can afford to self-fund if the Democrats do snub him.
Feature photo: Sen. Dean Heller and Rep. Mark Amodei at a town hall in Reno on April 17, 2017. Photo: Nevada Independent Staff.