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Tue Jun 19, 2012, 05:23 AM

Harry Reid's shadow looms over Nevada Senate race

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid isn't on the ballot this year, but he's very much in the game.

With Republicans clamoring to take away his majority, Reid is helping Democratic Senate candidates across the nation raise money and demonize their opponents. Nowhere is his hand more visible than in his home state, where Democrats can capture a seat from Republicans.

Reid, who had an arduous race of his own in Nevada two years ago, has loaned his former campaign staff to Rep. Shelley Berkley, Las Vegas' representative in the House for the past 14 years.

Berkley is Reid's hope for taking Nevada's other Senate seat away from Republican Dean Heller, who was appointed to it a year ago when GOP Sen. John Ensign resigned in anticipation of a highly critical Ethics Committee report about his affair with an aide.

"It's reasonable to make the argument that I have two opponents, yes: Shelley Berkley and Harry Reid," said Heller.


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