Mexican-American Dem flips Nevada House seat
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State Sen. Ruben Kihuen (D) is projected to defeat Rep. Cresent Hardy (R) to represent Nevada's 4th district, riding a wave of growing Latino participation in the state.

Kihuen, 36, will be the first Mexican-born congressman in Nevada history, and the first Hispanic to represent the state since 1997.

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The Democratic pickup came as no surprise in a district rated by the Cook Political Report as a D+4. Hardy unseated former Rep. Steven Horsford (D) in 2012, in a surprise win for Republicans.

"It’s a very Democratic district, what happened in 2014 was a fluke," said Jon Ralston, a well-known Nevada political journalist and pundit.

Kihuen benefitted from demographic change in the state, where 17.2 percent of eligible voters are Hispanic, according to the Pew Research Center.

The state's setting as a battleground for two House seats, retiring Senate Minority Leader Sen. Harry ReidHarry Mason ReidDanny Tarkanian wins Nevada GOP congressional primary McConnell cements his standing in GOP history American people want serious legislators who collaborate across party lines MORE's seat and a competitive presidential race also helped Kihuen. He received personal support from President Obama, who recorded a radio ad for Kihuen, and House Democratic Caucus Chairman Rep. Xavier BecerraXavier BecerraOvernight Energy: New controversies cap rough week for Pruitt | Trump 'not happy about certain things' with Pruitt | EPA backtracks on suspending pesticide rule EPA backpedals on suspending pesticide rule following lawsuit Overnight Health Care —Sponsored by PCMA — Spotlight on Trump drug pricing plan MORE.

Both parties invested heavily in the race. 

According consulting firm Solidarity Strategies, the campaign arms and official House super PACs of both parties had reserved $11,415,000 in advertising up to Nov. 3. Democrats outspent Republicans by $853,000 in the race.

Hardy dropped his endorsement of Republican presidential nominee Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpSunday Shows preview: Lawmakers, Trump allies discuss Russia probe, migrant family separation Seth McFarlane: Fox News makes me 'embarrassed' to work for this company  'Art of the Deal' co-author: Trump would act like Kim Jong Un if he had the same powers MORE in October after videos were released showing Trump bragging about groping women. But Kihuen continued to hammer him, using Trump's unpopularity with Latinos and college educated voters.

Hardy struck back at Kihuen with allegations that he was connected to a corruption investigation involving the Ramirez Group, a public relations firm which lists Kihuen as a principal. Kihuen is on leave from the Ramirez Group, which has said is fully collaborating with authorities in the investigation.

Kihuen, a former professional soccer player, is expected to join the Congressional Hispanic Caucus as its youngest member.