Political Notebook

Tarkanian is GOP candidate in toss-up Nevada congressional district

Danny Tarkanian is the Republican candidate in Nevada’s 3rd Congressional District.
Danny Tarkanian is the Republican candidate in Nevada’s 3rd Congressional District. Las Vegas Review-Journal file

For Danny Tarkanian, maybe the fifth time’s a charm.

The son of Naismith Hall of Fame basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian, whose long coaching career included a Fresno State stint from 1995 to 2002, is the Republican candidate in Nevada’s hotly contested 3rd Congressional District, which covers the southern tip of Nevada and includes Henderson and parts of Las Vegas.

Tarkanian, 54, is running against Democrat Jacky Rosen and two others in the battle to replace Republican Joe Heck, who didn’t seek re-election and is running for the U.S. Senate.

Maybe this is Tarkanian’s year.

It’s been a rocky political road so far for Tarkanian. He made unsuccessful congressional runs in 2004 and 2012, an unsuccessful Nevada secretary of state run in 2006, and he failed to get out of the Republican primary when he ran for the U.S. Senate in 2010.

Nevada’s 3rd Congressional District is a toss-up, and Tarkanian’s supporters – including many in the Fresno area – are hoping this is the year he wins.

A few weeks ago, local businessman Michael Der Manouel Sr. held a backyard fundraiser for Tarkanian in Woodward Lakes. About 70 people attended, as did Tarkanian, Der Manouel said. That event, as well as other contributions, have raised more than $50,000 for Tarkanian, Der Manouel said.

“He understands the water challenges here,” he said, and even though Tarkanian would represent a Nevada district, “he will help” in California.

Der Manouel plans to be with Tarkanian in Nevada on Election Day.

To date, Tarkanian has raised $1.48 million and Rosen has raised $1.14 million.

Jerry Tarkanian, who died early last year in Las Vegas, has a long association with Fresno, but the younger Tarkanian also served as an assistant coach when his father was at Fresno State.