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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