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August 23, 2017

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Group supporting pro-choice women candidates targets Heller’s seat

Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., is one of the 50 targets put “on notice” in a list of priority incumbents released by political action committee Emily’s List, a group that supports pro-choice female candidates for office.

Stephanie Schriock, president of Emily’s List, cited Heller’s stance on the Affordable Care Act as one of the reasons he was being targeted.

“Sen. Dean Heller has failed to protect the people of Nevada he was elected to represent — and Emily’s List and our 5 million-strong community are aggressively looking to flip his seat,” Schriock said in a statement.

Emily’s List has endorsed Rep. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., in her bid to take Heller’s seat. Group spokeswoman Julie McClain Downey said former Rep. Kelly Ayotte, R-N.H., was "on notice" in 2016 and Emily’s List put about $1 million toward that race with another $3.5 million coming from its independent spending arm. New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan, a Democrat, narrowly defeated Ayotte.

Downey says the group is recruiting and intends to be heavily involved in races to unseat Heller, Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., and the House Republicans who also made the list.

“It’s our largest list ever just because we had so much interest from women in running for office,” she said. “It’s been this massive influx.”

Since President Donald Trump was elected, she said, the group has received 16,000 requests nationally from women interested in running. The group received 927 requests between the 2014 election and November 2016.

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