Former Sen. Dean HellerDean Arthur HellerNevada becomes early Senate battleground Nevada governor Sisolak injured in car accident, released from hospital Democrats brace for tough election year in Nevada MORE (R-Nev.) refused to say President BidenJoe BidenOvernight Energy & Environment — Presented by American Clean Power — Methane fee faces negotiations White House rejects latest Trump claim of executive privilege The No Surprises Act: a bill long overdue MORE won the 2020 election during a kickoff event for his upcoming run for governor on Monday and again in an interview on Tuesday.
“I still know who the president is, but I do believe we have a problem with elections,” the former senator said in an interview with the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
However, the newspaper added that he would not name the president, "no matter how the question is asked."
Heller was a critic of former President TrumpDonald TrumpYoungkin ad features mother who pushed to have 'Beloved' banned from son's curriculum White House rejects latest Trump claim of executive privilege Democrats say GOP lawmakers implicated in Jan. 6 should be expelled MORE before his election to the White House, but Heller then sought Trump's support in the 2018 Senate race he lost.
Heller announced his run for governor of Nevada earlier this week and quickly became a front-runner in the Republican primary given his name recognition and political connections.
He has already released a blistering campaign ad targeting Gov. Steve SisolakSteve SisolakMichele Fiore announces campaign for Nevada governor Nevada governor Sisolak injured in car accident, released from hospital Democrats brace for tough election year in Nevada MORE (D) in which he complains that abortion clinics remain open while churches have been closed due to the coronavirus pandemic.
“After serving Nevada in the Senate, I thought I was done with politics,” Heller said in a video. “But look what’s happened to Nevada. We have a governor more interested in locking us out of work than putting us back to work. Las Vegas became a sanctuary city. Violent crime’s exploding. People who work for a living are scared. And I’ve had it."
Heller lost his senate seat to Democrat Sen. Jacky RosenJacklyn (Jacky) Sheryl RosenProgressives push back on decision to shrink Biden's paid family leave program Nevada becomes early Senate battleground Hillicon Valley — Presented by American Edge Project — Americans blame politicians, social media for spread of misinformation: poll MORE in 2018. That year, Trump made a swing through Nevada to support Heller and other Republican candidates.
Trump blamed Heller's loss on his having been “extraordinarily hostile” toward the former president in 2016. Following the release of the Access Hollywood tape, Heller said he was "100 percent" against Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonSuper PACs release ad campaign hitting Vance over past comments on Trump I voted for Trump in 2020 — he proved to be the ultimate RINO in 2021 Neera Tanden tapped as White House staff secretary MORE and "99 percent" against Trump.
"I tried for him," Trump said, adding that his base "did not believe me. They wouldn’t go for him."
In addition to his time as senator, Heller served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 2007 until 2011 and was Nevada's secretary of state from 1995 to 2007.