|United States Senator
May 9, 2011
Serving with Harry Reid
|Preceded by||John Ensign|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Nevada's 2nd district
January 3, 2007 – May 9, 2011
|Preceded by||Jim Gibbons|
|Succeeded by||Mark Amodei|
|15th Secretary of State of Nevada|
January 3, 1995 – January 3, 2007
|Preceded by||Cheryl Lau|
|Succeeded by||Ross Miller|
|Member of the Nevada Assembly|
|Born||Dean Arthur Heller
May 10, 1960
Castro Valley, California, U.S.
|Residence||Carson City, Nevada, U.S.|
|Alma mater||University of Southern California|
|Religion||The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (Mormon)|
Dean Heller for Senate
Dean Arthur Heller (born May 10, 1960) is the junior United States Senator from Nevada and a member of the Republican Party. Heller was appointed by Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval to a vacant seat created by the resignation of John Ensign. He was previously a member of the United States House of Representatives, representing Nevada's 2nd congressional district from 2007 to 2011. Prior to that he served as Secretary of State of Nevada (1995–2007) and a member of the Nevada Assembly (1991–1995). He ran in the 2012 election for the United States Senate seat to which he was appointed, and was declared the winner on November 7, 2012. He will serve his full term, which will end in January 2019.
- 1 Early life, education, and business career
- 2 Nevada Assembly
- 3 Nevada Secretary of State
- 4 U.S. House of Representatives
- 5 U.S. Senate
- 6 Personal life
- 7 Electoral history
- 8 References
- 9 External links
Heller was born in Castro Valley, California, to Janet (née MacNelly) and Charles Alfred "Jack" Heller, a stock car driver.1 He is a longtime resident of Carson City, having moved there with his family at the age of 9 months.2 He graduated Carson High School in 1978,3 and was accepted into the University of Southern California, he earned his bachelor of business administration, specializing in finance and securities analysis, from the USC Marshall School of Business in 1985.4 While a student at USC, Heller joined the Sigma Nu social fraternity.5
Prior to entering politics, Heller worked as an institutional stockbroker, and as a broker/trader on the Pacific Stock Exchange, from 1983 to 1988.6 Heller then served as the Chief Deputy State Treasurer in the Nevada Office of the State Treasurer, from 1988 to 1990.6
He served two terms in the Nevada Assembly from 1990 to 1994.7 While in this legislature, Heller authored a bill to reform state retirement pensions. He represented the capital, Carson City. During his time in the Nevada Assembly, Heller also worked as a senior commercial banking consultant for Bank of America, from 1990 to 1995.89
Heller was elected Secretary of State of Nevada in 1994, and was re-elected in 1998 and 2002, served in this capacity from 1995 to 2007; when he was elected to the United States House of Representatives.
Heller decided to run for congress in 2005 for Nevada's 2nd congressional district after ten-year incumbent Republican U.S. Congressman Jim Gibbons decided to run for governor. On August 15, 2006, he won the Republican primary with 36% of the vote. He narrowly defeated state Assemblywoman Sharron Angle by 421 votes. Angle received 35% of the vote and former state Assemblywoman Dawn Gibbons (incumbent's wife) received 25% of the vote.11 In the general election, Heller defeated Democratic nominee and University of Nevada Regent Jill Derby 50%-45%. Heller lost Washoe County, home to Reno and by far the largest county in the district (it casts more than 70 percent of the district's vote). However, he won most of the rural areas of the district by margins of 2-to-1 or more, allowing him to win the district by 12,600 votes. Heller was almost certainly helped by the presence of Gibbons atop the ballot as he carried the 2nd by a landslide margin in his successful gubernatorial bid.12
Heller won the Republican primary again, this time defeating James W. Smack 86%-14%.13 In a rematch, Heller defeated Derby in the general election, 52%-41%. This time he won every county in the district, except Clarke County.14
In 2009, Heller had been rumored to be a candidate to challenge embattled Republican incumbent Governor Jim Gibbons or Democratic United States Senator Harry Reid in 2010.15 He declined to run for governor or senator, and instead chose to run for re-election.
In 2006, Heller told the Las Vegas Review-Journal "I'm a Mormon and I teach Sunday school every week, but I do back a woman's right to choose abortion. It is the conservative position." Nevertheless, since being elected to federal office, he has voted for key pro-life initiatives.20
Heller opposed the Emergency Economic Stabilization Act of 2008 that created the Troubled Asset Relief Program (also known as TARP) to bail out the financial industry.21 Heller stated the reason he opposed this bill was, "The core of this legislation is still flawed and puts Nevada's taxpayers on the hook to pay for a massive bailout of Wall Street. There are solutions to this problem that do not place current taxpayers and future generations at risk or push our country further in debt."
Heller also opposed the Auto Industry Financing and Restructuring Act of 2008, also known as the auto bailout.22 Heller stated the reason he opposed this bill was, "Another month, another bailout. Congress is asking the American people again to bailout sic another industry in these tough economic times. Congress should focus on real economic reforms that generate jobs instead of continuing to bailout sic individual industries with taxpayer dollars. This is nothing more than a band aid that does not fix the much larger economic problems we have in our country."
Heller has voted in support of the development of domestic oil, gas and coal. (Nevada has no in-state reserves of coal or natural gas but does produce oil.23) He has voted against the tax policies subsidizing the development of renewable energy.24
- Health care
- "Today Congress did a great disservice to the American people. By choosing ideology over their constituency, Congress has empowered the federal government to take control of individual health care choices. Those who voted for this measure stood up for political buyoffs and special deals that benefit a small few while sticking the majority of Americans with higher taxes and higher health care costs. For our children and grandchildren, we will be passing on record debt and lower quality of life. At a time when Americans are asking for jobs, Congress has decided to deliver bigger government and less opportunity."26
During the debate prior to the federal healthcare law's passage, Heller led efforts to require two provisions be added to the federal health care law that would require:
- The use of citizenship verification tools to determine eligibility for taxpayer-funded healthcare benefits27
- Members of Congress to join any government-run healthcare plan proposed in early versions of the healthcare law.28
Part of Heller's 2012 campaign platform revolved around his stance on Israel and the nation's relationship with the United States. Heller advocates for American assistance to Israel so that the country will have the ability to defend itself and supports punishments for Iran's pursuit of weapons of mass destruction.33 In 2011 Heller introduced the Jerusalem Embassy and Recognition Act of 2011, legislation that reaffirms the United States’ commitment to Israel to relocate the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.34
- Labor unions
Heller opposes the Employee Free Choice Act, proposed legislation that would effectively eliminate secret ballots in union organizing elections and subject employers and employees to mandatory arbitration when negotiating union contracts.35 In stating his objection to this proposed legislation, Heller said that it could cause the loss of 600,000 jobs within two years of enactment:
- "This legislation at its core will threaten American jobs and harm small and large businesses alike that are already struggling to make ends meet. In fact, a recent economic study found that if the Employee Free Choice Act becomes law, 600,000 jobs could be lost by the end of 2010. Our country and Nevada cannot afford this. Any further job losses created by the Employee Free Choice Act would be devastating to Nevada workers who in some communities are facing unemployment rates as high as 15.1%."
- LGBT rights
In 2007 Heller voted against the Employment Non-discrimination Act that would have prohibited employment discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation. However, in 2013 he changed his position, announcing his support for the bill.36 He also opposes extending civil marriage rights to same-sex couples.37
- Minimum wage
- Committee on Ways and Means
Dean Heller announced that he would run for the United States Senate to succeed John Ensign after Ensign announced his retirement.39 He ran as the incumbent following his appointment to the seat by Governor Sandoval. In September 2012, Heller received an endorsement from the Filipino-American Families of America in Politics, a group of Filipino Americans in Las Vegas formed to advocate for families of World War II Filipino Veterans.40
He faced First District Congresswoman Shelley Berkley in the November election. In one of the closest races of the cycle, Heller won by 12,100 votes out of almost 900,000 cast. Ultimately, a 21,000-vote margin in Washoe County allowed Heller to win a full term.
- Government Shutdown
In 2011, Heller called for bipartisanship to avoid government shutdown. Heller issued a Press Release saying: "There is absolutely no reason that this government should shut down. The brinksmanship must end."42 Heller said "If both sides can't come to an agreement, I think we ought to extend this thing for a couple of weeks so we can continue negotiations. I just don't want to see this government shut down."43
In 2013, Heller was one of 18 Senators who voted against the bill to reopen the government during the United States government shutdown of 2013. Regarding the vote, Heller said: “I wanted to be able to support a deal, but this proposal makes no underlying structural changes that will prevent this exact same crisis from happening again in the very near future. Considering this legislation does nothing to place our nation on sound fiscal footing or cultivate a growth economy that will produce jobs in the long term, I cannot support it.”44
- Health care
In May 2013, Heller introduced a bill to suspend $440 million in IRS funding to enforce Obamacare. In a statement, Heller said, "With the recent events related to the Internal Revenue Service, I feel it is necessary that both Congress and the Department of Health and Human Services look closely at the money given to the IRS through the health care law."45
- Special Committee on Aging
- Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation
- Committee on Energy and Natural Resources
Source: United States Senate
A member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, Heller and his wife Lynne have four children. Heller was a founding board member of the Boys and Girls Club of Western Nevada and the Western Nevada Community College Foundation. He is an advisory board member for Nevada's Foster Grandparent program.46
|United States Senate election in Nevada, 2012|
|Republican||Dean Heller (incumbent)||457,656||45.87|
|Independent||None of These Candidates||45,277||4.54|
- Heller family genealogy site
- Jennifer Medina, Carl Hulse (April 22, 2011). "Resignation Has Nevada Sorting Out the Fallout". nytimes.com.
- Bureau of Land Management (September 24, 2004). "Dean Heller to Make Special Women’s Equality Day Presentation". blm.gov.
- University of Southern California (May 23, 2013). "The Honorable Dean Heller '85". alumni.usc.gov.
- "Greeks in the 113th Congress". North-American Interfraternity Conference. Retrieved 2 September 2013.
- "NationalJournalAlmanac Rep. Dean Heller (R)". nationaljournal.com. May 23, 2013.
- "Dean Heller U.S. Congress District 2", Nevada Appeal, October 16, 2008
- Nevada Department of Administration. "SECRETARY OF STATE: DEAN HELLER SECRETARY OF STATE DEAN HELLER 1995-2007". nevadaculture.org.
- Steve Tetreault (April 27, 2011). "On voting records, Heller and Ensign differ only 'in areas of gray'". Las Vegas Review-Journal.
- Farhad Manjoo, "The downloading of the president '04", Salon, August 24, 2004
- Brendan Riley, "Congressman hedges on Senate bid", Associated Press, April 17, 2009
- "Heller named vice chairman of Western Caucus". Reno Gazette-Journal. February 4, 2011. Retrieved February 14, 2011.
- "Heller named to policy seat in Western Caucus", Nevada Appeal, February 7, 2009
- "Project Vote Smart – Senator Dean Heller – Voting Record". Vote Smart. Project Vote Smart. Retrieved September 4, 2011.
- Deborah Barfield Berry, "Heller Votes Against Bailout", Reno Gazette Journal, October 4, 2008
- Heller Statement on Auto Bailout, Congressman Heller – U.S. House of Representatives, December 10, 2008
- "GovTrack: House Vote On Passage: H.R. 2776 (110th): Renewable Energy and Energy Conservation Tax Act of 2007". govtrack.us. Civic Impulse. Retrieved July 12, 2011.
- Health care reform: How the House voted, Associated Press, March 21, 2010
- "Heller Statement on Healthcare Legislation" (Press release). Dean Heller. March 21, 2010.
- "Health care for illegals", Las Vegas Review-Journal, July 24, 2009, retrieved March 10, 2011
- "Heller says Congress should join any federal health plan", Nevada Appeal, July 17, 2009, retrieved March 10, 2011
- U.S. Rep. Dean Heller Urges Nevada AG to Sue Over Health Reform, Associated Press, March 23, 2010, retrieved March 10, 2011
- Budoff Brown, Carrie (January 19, 2011), "House passes health law repeal", Politico, retrieved March 10, 2011
- "Final Vote Results For Roll Call 14". Clerk of the United States House of Representatives. January 19, 2011. Retrieved March 10, 2011.
- "Project Vote Smart: Dean Heller's voting record". Vote Smart. Project Vote Smart. Retrieved September 6, 2011.
- Heller Letter to Pelosi: Card Check Bill Will Cost Jobs, Congressman Heller – U.S. House of Representatives, March 12, 2009
- Dean Heller on the Issues: Civil Rights
- "Project Vote Smart – Dean Heller – Voting Record". Vote Smart. Project Vote Smart. Retrieved September 6, 2011.
- Blake, Aaron (March 15, 2011). "Dean Heller announces run for Senate in Nevada". The Washington Post.
- Dymphna Calica-La Putt (September 19, 2012). "For aid to Filipino WWII vets Heller get Fil-Am group’s endorsement". Asian Journal. Retrieved October 2, 2012.
- "Official Congressional Biography". Biographical Directory of the United States Congress. Retrieved May 18, 2011.
- Heller Calls for Bipartisanship to Avoid Government Shutdown, Dean Heller Press Release, December 14, 2011 http://www.heller.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/pressreleases?ID=42dec0c4-b820-4830-ad93-cd137f15e925. Permalink: http://www.heller.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/2011/12/heller-calls-for-bipartisanship-to-avoid-government-shutdown. "Heller Calls for Bipartisanship to Avoid Government Shutdown" December 15, 2011: http://insurancenewsnet.com/oarticle/2011/12/15/heller-calls-for-bipartisanship-to-avoid-government-shutdown-a-313595.html#.UmCj0SSE7UN.
- Karoun Demirjian, Las Vegas Sun, "Dean Heller among 48 Republicans to change vote on government shutdown extension," Tue, Mar 15, 2011 http://m.lvsun.com/news/2011/mar/15/dean-heller-among-48-republicans-change-government. Karoun Demirjian, "Harry Reid, John Boehner square off over government shutdown." Las Vegas Sun, Friday, Feb. 25, 2011. http://www.lasvegassun.com/news/2011/feb/25/shutdown-showdown/
- Nevada's Dean Heller among minority of senators to oppose deal to reopen the government. http://www.rgj.com/article/20131016/NEWS12/310160099/Nevada-s-Dean-Heller-among-minority-of-senators-to-oppose-deal-to-reopen-the-government. Votes to end the government shutdown http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-srv/special/politics/congress-votes-to-end-shutdown/house.html.
- "Heller says IRS can't be trusted to oversee Obamacare". Las Vegas Sun. May 14, 2013. Retrieved October 18, 2013.
- United States Government Printing Office (May 23, 2013). "NEVADA 110th Congress". gpo.gov.
- Senator Dean Heller official Senate site
- Dean Heller for Senate
- Biography at the Biographical Directory of the United States Congress
- Biography at Ballotpedia
- Biography at NNDB
- Biography, voting record, and interest group ratings at Project Vote Smart
- Congressional profile at GovTrack
- Congressional profile at OpenCongress
- Congressional profile at Roll Call
- Financial information (federal office) at the Federal Election Commission
- Financial information (federal office) at OpenSecrets.org
- Financial investments (personal) at The Washington Post
- Financial information (state office) at the National Institute for Money in State Politics
- Issue positions and quotes at On the Issues
- Legislation sponsored at The Library of Congress
- Voting record at The Washington Post
- Appearances on C-SPAN programs
- Collected news and commentary at Bloomberg News
- Collected news and commentary at The Washington Post
- Profile at SourceWatch
|United States House of Representatives|
|Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Nevada's 2nd congressional district
|United States Senate|
|United States Senator (Class 1) from Nevada
Served alongside: Harry Reid
|United States order of precedence (ceremonial)|
|United States Senators by seniority
|Nevada Secretary of State