After Nevada Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval announced Tuesday that he wouldn’t seek the Senate seat soon to be vacated by Democratic Sen. Harry Reid, the race is starting to come into sharper focus.
Here’s a look at some of the names that were discussed as potential contenders for the seat, and where they stand leading up to the 2016 election:
CATHERINE CORTEZ MASTO
Former Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto, a Democrat, announced shortly after Reid’s retirement that she would run for his seat, and she has his vocal support.
“We have a winner in Catherine Cortez Masto,” the Senate Democratic leader told reporters in Washington on Tuesday. “She’s a wonderful longtime Nevadan, and in fact lifetime Nevadan, and it doesn’t matter who runs against her. She’s going to be just fine.”
Cortez Masto served two terms as attorney general before a brief stint as the executive vice chancellor of the Nevada System of Higher Education.
With the widely popular Sandoval not an option, three-term GOP Rep. Joe Heck is Republicans’ top choice. The one-star general and military doctor said he was already thinking hard about entering the race before Sandoval made his announcement.
“I appreciate the outpouring of support and encouragement,” Heck said in a statement on Tuesday. “We’ll make an announcement very soon.”
In prior interviews, the Henderson Republican said he was weighing factors including having to spend more time away from his family and give up his position on important House subcommittees.