Dean Heller (R-Nev.)

U.S. Senator (since May 2011)

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Why He Matters

Heller just may be the future of the Republican Party in Nevada.

After being elected to three terms from the sprawling 2nd district, Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) picked Heller to replace outgoing Sen. John Ensign (R), who resigned his seat on May 4, 2011 after being probed by Senate ethics investigators following an affair with a former campaign aide.

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Secession, a tournament for GOP

(Jim Urquhart / Reuters)

Let the madness continue.

READ IN: Tuesday, April 15, 2014: Senate staff negotiating Transportation bill, Landrieu will start $2m ad blitz, Dems vs. minimum wage in Alaska, and happy Tax Day

Senate staff negotiating Transportation bill, Landrieu will start $2m ad blitz, Dems vs. minimum wage in Alaska, and happy Tax Day


Feds abruptly end cattle roundup in Nevada

Federal land managers abruptly ended the roundup of cattle on public land in southern Nevada owned by a rancher who has refused to recognize their authority, citing a “serious concern” for the safety of employees and the public.

Unemployment extension passes procedural hurdle in Senate

Will be passed on Monday, then head to House where bill faces starch opposition


At a Glance

  • Career History: U.S. Representative (January 2007 to may 2011); Nevada Secretary of State (1994-2006); Nevada State Assembly, Carson City (1990-1994); Consultant, Bank of America (1990-1994)
  • Birthday: May 10, 1960
  • Hometown: Carson City, Nevada
  • Alma Mater: University of Southern California, B.A., 1985
  • Spouse: Lynne
  • Religion: Mormon
  • Committees: Ways and Means
  • DC Office: 125 Cannon House Office Building, 202-225-6155

Path to Power

Born in 1960 in Castro Valley, Calif., Heller was raised in Carson City, Nev., where his newspaper route included deliveries to the state Capitol.

A graduate of the University of Southern California, where he studied business administration, Heller worked as a stockbroker and a trader at the Pacific Stock Exchange in San Francisco.

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The Issues

During the 110th Congress (2007-2009), Heller voted with House Republicans 92.2 percent of the time.

Heller has supported federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research, voting to lift the ban in 2007 despite the Bush administration's opposition.

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The Network

Though Heller often teamed with Sen. John Ensign (R) on political issues, Heller has also been critical of the senator who is under Senate investigation for an extramarital affair with a former campaign aide. Though Heller never called for Ensign's resignation, he did call the senator "wounded" in April 2010. "Will it have impact up and down the ticket for Republicans this fall? I think there is a potential of that happening," Heller said.

Heller is the policy chairman of the Congressional Western Caucus. The chairman of the caucus is Rep. Rob Bishop (R-Utah).


Additional Resources

  1. Almanac of American Politics
  2. Vogel, Ed, "2nd Congressional District" Las Vegas Review-Journal, July 27, 2006
  3. Ball, Molly, "Angle to file lawsuit in congressional race today" Las Vegas Review-Journal, Aug. 29, 2006
  4. "Nevada: Secretary of State Hopes to End Family Dynasty" Roll Call, Jan. 18, 2005
  5. Rogers, Keith, "Bill would exempt Nevada from presidential authority" Las Vegas Review-Journal, Feb. 25, 2010
  6. Vogel, Ed, "Heller lead in House race grows" Las Vegas Review-Journal, Nov. 2, 2006
  7. "Heller Statement on Healthcare Legislation" March 21, 2010
  8. Batt, Tony, "Heller says he'll eventually run for governor" Las Vegas Review-Journal, May 6, 2007
  9. Henkenius, Tom, "Rep. Dean Heller: Not Ruling Out 2012 Run For Senate," KTVN, Aug. 14, 2009.
  10. Sonner, Scott, "Heller-Derby rematch in GOP-leaning NV district" The Associated Press, Oct. 23, 2008
  11. Vogel, Ed, "2ND CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICT: Angle catches Heller" Las Vegas Review-Journal, Aug. 12, 2006
  12. Batt, Tony, "Heller backs nuclear power if waste stored on site" Las Vegas Review-Journal, July 23, 2008
  13. Mascaro, Lisa, "Poll: Either GOP challenger could topple Harry Reid" Las Vegas Sun, Aug. 23, 2009
  14. "Biography" Rep. Dean Heller
  15. Batt, Tony, "Heller: Republicans need to clean house" Las Vegas Review-Journal, July 8, 2008
  16. Sadler, Aaron, "Minimum wage hike, stem cells top Democrats' agenda" Las Vegas Review-Journal, Jan. 14, 2007
  17. "Heller Statement on Democrats' Cap and Trade Bill" June 26, 2009
  18. "Congressional Western Caucus"
  19. Nevadans for Dean Heller staff, "Dean Heller Career Highlights," Nevadans for Dean Heller, 2009.
  20. Tetreault, Steve, "Heller offers English-only bill" Las Vegas Review-Journal, May 7, 2008
  21. Cillizza, Chris and Kane, Paul,The Washington Post, Sen. Ensign, under ethics inquiry, admits no wrongdoing but says he will resign, April 21, 2011
  22. Whaley, Sean, "Election challenge tossed out" Las Vegas Review-Journal, Sept. 2, 2006
  23. Kalil, J.M., "Voting machines receive perfect score" Las Vegas Review-Journal, Sept. 25, 2004
  24. "Washington Post Votes Database"
  25. "Why I'm Running" Heller for Senate, March 15, 2011.
  26. "Dean Heller's Statement on Oil Speculation Bill" July 30, 2008
  27. Spillman, Benjamin, "Heller says Ensign's troubles may be hurting Republican candidates" Las Vegas Review-Journal, April 7, 2010