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Sandoval to appoint Heller to Senate

April 27, 2011 at 6:17 PM
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LAS VEGAS, April 27 (UPI) -- Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval announced Wednesday he would appoint Republican Rep. Dean Heller to serve the rest of John Ensign's term in the U.S. Senate.

The Republican Ensign resigned last month to stave off an ethics investigation involving an affair with Cynthia Hampton, a former aide's wife, in 2009. The aide, Doug Hampton, said Ensign helped him find work as a lobbyist and Ensign's parents gave the Hamptons nearly $100,000.

Heller, who had been expected to run for the U.S. Senate seat in 2012, was hailed by Sandoval as an "experienced voice in Washington … ready for the responsibilities of this office."

The announcement prompted vocal support from national Republicans and derision from Democrats, the Las Vegas Sun reported.

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