Dem newcomer picks up Nevada House seat
© Greg Nash

Jacky Rosen is projected to pick up a House seat for Dems, defeating Republican Danny Tarkanian in Nevada's 3rd congressional district.

Rosen will be flipping the seat from red to blue, replacing Rep. Joe Heck (R-Nev.), who is running for Nevada's open Senate seat.

It's a stunning victory for Rosen, a former computer programmer and synagogue leader, was a mostly-unknown name in Nevada politics until she won a six-way primary in June.


"Jackie Rosen, who was about the 17th choice to run, has turned out to be a pretty good candidate," said Jon Ralston, a well-known Nevada political journalist and pundit.

The south-of-Las Vegas district is rated by the Cook Political Report as a pure toss up, and Democrats will celebrate the House pickup in a state with an expanding Hispanic population.

According to the Pew Research Center, 17.2 percent of the state's eligible voters are Hispanic. 

Rosen's win in the heavily Hispanic state comes against an opponent who never swayed in his support of Republican presidential nominee Donald TrumpDonald John TrumpMeet the lawyer Democrats call when it's recount time Avenatti denies domestic violence allegations: 'I have never struck a woman' Trump names handbag designer as ambassador to South Africa MORE.

While other Republican candidates in the state withdrew their support of Trump during the race, "Tarkanian just kept a full embrace and never moved an inch," said Ralston.

Tarkanian, a perennial contender in Nevada politics, lost his fifth race in five elections.

Rosen stuck to the Democratic Party's 2016 platform, including calling for comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship. 

Despite Rosen being a newcomer, Tarkanian failed to capitalize on his high name recognition as the son of famed University of Las Vegas basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian.