Local business owner and former professional wrestler Dan Rodimer announced today he will run in Nevada’s 3rd Congressional District, joining a handful of Republicans looking to unseat first-term Democratic incumbent Susie Lee.
After making the announcement Thursday morning on the Fox News show “Fox and Friends,” Rodimer’s campaign received an early boost from former Trump White House spokesman Sean Spicer, whose firm, point1, represents the ex-wrestler.
Another outstanding @point1gop client announces – Former WWE wrestler @DanRodimer is jumping into the political ring and running for Congress in #Nevada ‘s 3rd Congressional District. Check him out at https://t.co/eCtCqTba5j https://t.co/JdfUZAmsZg
— Sean Spicer (@seanspicer) August 22, 2019
Rodimer ran an unsuccessful state Senate campaign in 2018 in which he narrowly lost the Republican primary for District 8 by 1 percentage point to former Assemblywoman Valerie Weber. That loss came despite leading the field in fundraising, where he ultimately raised more than $200,000, with roughly three-quarters of the total coming from personal loans.
That election saw Rodimer run a campaign defined by the GOP talking points of the 2018 cycle, including opposition to the state’s Commerce Tax, opposition to so-called “sanctuary state” status and pro law-and-order stances.
But Rodimer also ran afoul of the law in 2010, after he threatened a man and threw him “into a chair and onto the floor” at a Florida Waffle House. Rodimer was charged with battery, but after he pled guilty and completed an anger management course, the charges were dropped.
Responding to a Nevada Independent inquiry about the incident in 2018, he did not deny the incident, but challenged the context, saying in a statement, “Yes, I pushed a bully.”
He now finds himself facing a handful of fellow Republicans for the chance to challenge Lee in 2020, including former state Treasurer Dan Schwartz and real estate agents Tiger Helgelien and Zach WalkerLieb.
District 3 is among the most competitive in the country and has swung between the major parties since its creation in 2002. Since 2016 the district has remained under Democratic control — first under Jacky Rosen and then under Lee — despite breaking toward President Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election by 1 point.