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National Association of Realtors endorses Lee after backing Tarkanian last cycle

Megan Messerly
Megan Messerly
Election 2018IndyBlog

The National Association of Realtors endorsed Democrat Susie Lee on Monday in the race for Nevada’s 3rd Congressional District after backing her opponent, Republican Danny Tarkanian, for the seat last cycle.

In a statement, Nevada Realtors President Heidi Kasama called Lee a “common sense problem solver” who could work across the aisle in Congress to “achieve real results for Nevada families.” The association represents 17,000 real estate agents in Nevada and 1.3 million across the country.

Lee, in a statement, said she was “honored” to have the support of the association and that she looks “forward to working across party lines in Congress to help families achieve the dream of home ownership.”

The announcement represents a change of course for the organization that endorsed Tarkanian in his bid against Democratic Rep. Jacky Rosen for the same seat in 2016. Tarkanian lost that race to Rosen by 1.2 percentage points in a district that President Donald Trump carried by a 1-point margin.

Asked why the Realtors decided to back Lee this cycle over Tarkanian, a spokesman for the National Association of Realtors said in an email only that past endorsements and political party affiliations are not part of the endorsement evaluation process.

RPAC, the REALTORS Political Action Committee, is by REALTORS volunteers from across the nation who, with the guidance and recommendations of state and local associations, determine which candidates to support,” Realtors spokesman John DiBiase said. “The decisions are made after careful evaluation by the RPAC Disbursement Trustees and are based solely on which candidate would best promote and protect the public policy initiatives of NAR.”

Lee and Tarkanian are running against each other to represent Nevada’s swingy 3rd Congressional District, which covers suburban Summerlin, Henderson and the Southwest and also stretches south to Searchlight and Laughlin. Democrats have about a 6,000-person, or 1.4 percentage point, voter registration advantage over Republicans in the district.

Disclosure: Susie Lee has donated to The Nevada Independent. You can see a full list of donors here.

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