The special election to fill Rep. Dean Heller's (R-Nev.) seat will be a free-for-all with candidates allowed to compete without securing their party's nomination.
Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller, a Democrat, announced Monday the Sept. 13 special election will be open for all comers, which could give his party an edge.
A spokesman for the National Republican Congressional Committee called the decision a "blatantly partisan ruling from Harry Reid’s political machine" that will lead to "what will surely be a long and drawn out process."
Former Senate candidate Sharron Angle, state lawmaker Greg Brower and Navy veteran Kirk Lippold have all announced their intention to run for the 2nd district seat, which Heller is vacating this week. The congressman was appointed last month by Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) to replace Sen. John Ensign (R-Nev.), who resigned effective May 3.
No Democrat has yet to step forward to run in the Republican-leaning district. But if multiple GOP candidates remain in the field for the special election, it could hinder the party's chances of retaining the seat.
The winner of the special election will serve the remainder of Heller's current term. The seat will be up for reelection in November 2012.
--Updated at 3:34 p.m.