Real Clear Politics is reporting
that Nevada Senator John Ensign will announce his retirement from public life this afternoon. The scandal-tarnished Republican was considered to be one of the GOP’s most vulnerable incumbents of the 2012 election cycle. His decision to step aside makes US Rep. Dean Heller the front-runner for the GOP Senate nomination. Should he be nominated, Heller would be considered the favourite to hold the seat in the general election.
That said, the possibility looms of a Tea Party challenge to Heller in the GOP primary. A divisive GOP primary that nominates a Tea Party candidate could significantly improve Democratic chances of capturing the seat. US Rep. Shelly Berkeley has expressed interest in seeking the Democratic nomination.
NOW WATCH: Briefing videos
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.