The Hill’s 50 races to watch


Nevada 3rd District

John Oceguera (D) vs Joe Heck (R)

This tight contest to represent Nevada’s southernmost tip features freshman Rep. Joe Heck (R) and challenger John Oceguera, the Democratic Speaker of the state assembly.

The district, which includes parts of Las Vegas, was crushed by the recession and still suffers from some of the worst jobless and foreclosure rates in the country — issues that have loomed large in the race.

Heck, a physician, has voted to repeal President Obama’s signature healthcare reform law and is campaigning on that issue. Oceguera says the law is imperfect but represents “a good start” and shouldn’t be dismantled. 

Although Heck was swept into office as part of the Tea Party wavae, he fell out of favor with some in that group when he voted to raise the debt ceiling. Still, Oceguera has tried to portray his opponent as an extremist conservative, pouncing on Heck’s 2011 characterization of Social Security as a “pyramid scheme.”

The Hill rates this race as a toss-up.