CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - Democrat Jacky Rosen has defeated incumbent Republican Dean Heller in a hard-fought battle for a U.S. Senate seat in Nevada, giving Democrats a key pickup in the chamber.
Rosen on Tuesday ousted Heller, who has been in office since he was appointed to fill a vacancy in 2011.
Heller was considered the most vulnerable Republican running for re-election to the U.S. Senate this year as the only one seeking another term in a state that Hillary Clinton won in 2016. He conceded earlier in the night.
Heller was once a critic of President Donald Trump, but the two have become allies. Rosen painted Heller as a rubber stamp for the president and counted on backlash to Trump to help her oust the incumbent.
Rosen's win puts Nevada with half a dozen other states represented by U.S. senators who are both female. Nevada's other senator is Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto.
Well, you voted... and we won!
We did this, all of us, together.
This was a hard-fought campaign.
I was able to talk to Senator Heller tonight before I came on stage. He wished me well, and I thanked him for his many years of public service.
There are a few people I want to give a special shout-out to who helped us get here:
I want to start by thanking my family, my husband Larry, and my daughter Miranda. I wouldn’t be here without you, and you have kept me going with your love and support.
I also want to thank all of you.
The thousands of volunteers who knocked on doors, and made phone calls for us.
Our partners in organized labor, from AFL-CIO and SEIU to Culinary 226.
And the hundreds of thousands of people who chipped in what they could to support our campaign.
This victory belongs to all of you, and I am so proud of the work that we put in to win this race.
And I want to congratulate our next Governor, Steve Sisolak, on his incredible victory. For the first time in two decades, Nevada will have a Democratic Governor.
And on a night where women are winning up and down the ballot, this is a historic night for us
We will now have not one, but TWO women representing Nevada in the United States Senate.
And for the first time in Nevada history, we will now have a majority female Congressional delegation!
I can’t tell you enough how excited I am to join Catherine Cortez Masto in the Senate. Catherine endorsed me on Day 1, and she has done so much to invest in our state party she is doing amazing work, and I can’t wait to partner with her to help move Nevada forward.
I also want to thank someone who has been in my corner from the beginning.
Senator Reid’s advice to me was always simple: “Know who you are and why you’re running, stay true to yourself and your values, and be a straight shooter.” I appreciate his friendship, his guidance, and his support.
Forty years ago, I was working right down the hall here at Caesars Palace as a cocktail waitress putting tips in my envelopes so I could help pay for college.
Thinking about that young woman then, I could never have imagined all these years later that I would be standing here, on this stage, as your next United States Senator.
My faith and my upbringing were a big part of my decision to take on this race because I believe it’s our responsibility to leave this world a better place than how we found it.
After all the hate we’ve seen recently, I can’t tell you how much it means to me, as a former synagogue president, to stand here tonight as your next Senator: Hate will never win.
Plenty of people had their doubts that this victory would be ours tonight.
But this is the story of this election cycle. Women stepping up to lead to take back our country, and to take back the agenda in Washington.
I am humbled by tonight’s results, and I want you to know that I will never forget where I came from that I will always put Nevada first.
I will work each and every day to represent all of the people of our state to provide first-class constituent services, and to find common ground with anyone in the Senate who has an idea that will benefit Nevada.
We have a lot of fights ahead of us, and I’m ready to stand up and keep fighting for all the issues this campaign was all about.
I will fight for a $15 an hour minimum wage, so nobody in this country who works full time is living in poverty.
I will fight for every Nevada student to be able to graduate from a public college or university without crushing debt.
I will fight back against plans to cut Social Security and Medicare.
I will fight to finally pass commonsense gun safety legislation.
I will fight for civil rights and voting rights in this country.
I will fight for immigration reform that protects our Dreamers, protects our TPS workers, and keeps families together.
I will fight for real action to address our climate crisis and invest in Nevada’s clean energy economy.
I will fight back against anyone who tries to defund Planned Parenthood or attack women’s reproductive rights.
And I will never stop fighting to protect our health care.
The soul of our democracy was at stake in this election. And Together, we voted to make this a state that once again lives up to our values.
Donald Trump said he was on the ballot in this election. Well, I am proud to say, Nevadans responded accordingly!
To everyone watching tonight, I have a message: no matter the color of your skin, or your religion, or who you love, or where you came from
You are part of the fabric of America, and this is your country, too.
Nevada is a diverse state, we welcome and support immigrants who come to this country to live the American Dream.
Tonight, the politics of fear and division lost in Nevada. That is good news for our state, and it’s good news for the country.
I want to take a minute to bring my team up on stage. I have the most incredible staff, and they worked so hard to make sure this was a campaign built to win.
Come on up everybody!
What I am reminded of tonight is that I got into politics to make a difference for people, not to hold a title or an office.
And I will never stop listening to your stories and carrying them with me as your voice in Washington. That’s what this job is all about.
Thank you again for your support. Thank you for this win. You all are the real reason we are celebrating tonight.
This is your victory. Thank you!!!
Republican Dean Heller says he takes the blame for his loss to Democrat Jacky Rosen in Nevada's U.S. Senate race.
Heller said in a concession speech in Las Vegas that Rosen and the Democratic Party had a great race up and a "blue wave" all down the ballot in Nevada.
He says his party is going to have to "come back together" and decide how it's going to go forward.
The senator says it's the first time he's had to call his opponent and make a concession call in three decades.
He cited the 2017 GOP tax law he helped write and the confirmation of judges to the U.S. Supreme Court as "generational changes" he was proud of achieving while in office.