Heller Rare Bright Spot For Nevada GOP

RENO, Nev. (AP) - Freshman Rep. Dean Heller was the lone bright spot for congressional Republicans in Nevada on a night President-elect Barack Obama's coattails helped sweep Democrats to victory across the country and turn the Silver State blue for only the third time in more than four decades.

Heller bucked the tide in his rematch with Democratic challenger Jill Derby, beating her 52 percent to 41 percent in the sprawling, rural 2nd District that covers all of Nevada except the Las Vegas area which has never elected a Democrat to Congress since it was created in 1980.

Republican Rep. Jon Porter didn't fare as well in his bid for a fourth term, falling to Democratic challenger Dina Titus.

Titus, a former Democratic state Senate leader who lost a bid for governor in 2006, won 47 percent to 42 percent in suburban Las Vegas' 3rd District.

Rep. Shelley Berkley cruised to her sixth term past her 2006 Republican challenger Kenneth Wegner with 68 percent of the vote in southern Nevada's 1st District.

Obama became the only Democrat besides Bill Clinton to carry Nevada since Lyndon Johnson did it in 1964.

(Copyright 2008 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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