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March 27, 2015

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Nevada Wonk

Special election count: 4 Republicans, 3 Democrats in race to replace Dean Heller

Add another name to the growing list of candidates running to replace Rep. Dean Heller in Nevada's 2nd Congressional District.

Perennial candidate Edward Hamilton said he will enter the special election as a Republican. His name on the ballot will appear as Eddie "the Dove" Hamilton.

Hamilton said he also plans to challenge Heller in the 2012 Republican primary for U.S. Senate. Heller will be sworn in as a senator Monday; he takes over for Sen. John Ensign, who resigned last week in the wake of a sex scandal.

Hamilton called the House race a warm up. He said he expects to be the only anti-war candidate in the mix and believes the race will help him gauge voters' views.

"It will be a good referendum on whether the people of Nevada want the war to continue," he said.

Incidentally, Hamilton doesn't live in the 2nd Congressional District, but the U.S. Constitution dictates that he doesn't have to. Candidates don't need to be residents of the district, or even the state, unless they win.

Hamilton has run twice unsuccessfully for U.S. Senate. He launched his first campaign against Ensign in 2006 as a Republican, then challenged Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid last year as a Democrat.

Most recently, he ran for Henderson City Council but lost in the primary.

Hamilton's candidacy brings the number of GOP House hopefuls to four.

Tea Party darling Sharron Angle is running, as are state Sen. Greg Brower and former USS Cole Commander Kirk Lippold.

Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki on Thursday announced he would not seek a bid. As a result, Nevada Republican Chairman Mark Amodei is expected to enter the fray.

On the Democratic side, state Treasurer Kate Marshall, who announced her candidacy Wednesday, is considered the strongest contender.

Jill Derby, a former Nevada Democratic Party leader who has run twice for the seat and lost, is also a candidate, as is Nancy Price, the Democrat who lost to Heller last year.

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