The race for Rep. Dean Heller's (R) seat in Nevada is one campaign where terrorism could remain an issue going into 2012.
The slate of GOP candidates incudes former Senate candidate Sharron Angle, state lawmaker Greg Brower and Navy veteran Kirk Lippold, who commanded the USS Cole when it was attacked by al Qaeda terrorists while in port in Yemen. Seventeen sailors died in the incident.
Lippold issued a statement "celebrating" Osama bin Laden's death at the hands of U.S. forces.
The al Qaeda leader's death signals "that no matter how long it takes or how difficult the task, the United States will be relentless in its pursuit of justice,” Lippold said.
"Having experienced firsthand, as commander of the USS Cole, the death and carnage ruthless al Qaeda killers can inflict, I join Americans everywhere and our servicemen and -women all over the world in celebrating the death of Osama bin Laden," he said. "My thoughts and prayers, too, are with the 17 Cole crewmembers we lost on Oct. 12, 2000, and their families. May tonight’s news bring a measure of justice and closure to them.”
Heller is leaving his 2nd district seat this week after being tapped by Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) to replace Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.), who resigned effective May 3.
Other GOP candidates could also join the field.
--Updated at 3:43 p.m.