Rep. Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.) ultimately defeated incumbent Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.) on Tuesday in the 2018 midterm elections following a grueling campaign that remained neck-and-neck up until the very end.
Heller (pictured above left) conceded the race on Wednesday morning to Rosen (above right).
“Women are winning up and down the ballot. This is a historic night for us,” Rosen said Wednesday morning during her victory speech.
Heller said in his concession speech, “I congratulated her on what she did … What her party was able to achieve — not just in my race, but all the way down that ballot. We’ve hit blue waves for a couple of cycles and as a party we are going to have to come back together and decide how we’re going to go forward in the future.”
Heller has served in the Senate since 2011.
Rosen has served in the House since 2017. Her victory against Heller marked an otherwise rough night for Senate Democrats that ended with Republicans expanding their majority and ousting key Democrats.
Heller was long viewed as one of the Senate’s most vulnerable incumbents heading into the 2018 midterm elections.
The incumbent senator trailed Rosen in the polls up until the two tied in early October with 45.3 percent of the vote each, according to the RealClearPolitics (RCP) polling average.
After gaining the upper hand over Rosen in mid-October, the two again were tied in the latest RCP polling average ahead of Election Day, this time at 46.7 percent each.
President Donald Trump narrowly lost Nevada to 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton by 2.4 percentage points, according to RCP.
Trump urged Republicans to back Heller in his neck-and-neck bid against Rosen. Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter and an adviser in the White House, campaigned alongside Heller on November 1 to boost his campaign prospects.
But the president and Heller haven’t always had the best of relationships. Heller severely disappointed Trump by being a key holdout vote on one of the GOP’s efforts to repeal and replace Obamacare.
“I have to say this, when we started out, we weren’t friends. I didn’t like him, he didn’t like me, and as we fought and fought and fought, believe it or not, we started to respect each other … and then we love each other,” Trump said during a rally in Las Vegas in September.
“He’s been a tremendous supporter ever since I won the election.”
Heller more fully embraced Trump as his re-election campaign faced razor-thin polling margins.
“We started working together and it built trust,” Heller said of his evolving relationship with Trump during a debate with Rosen. “When you have success, it builds trust. When you have trust, it builds friendships.”
Trump also referred to Rosen as “Wacky Jacky,” warning Nevada voters during the rally that she “will never vote for us” if she ousted Heller.