December 18, 1961 |
Redlands, California, U.S.
|Spouse(s)||Amy Hanson Tarkanian|
|Relations||Jerry Tarkanian (father)|
|Alma mater||University of Nevada, Las Vegas
University of San Diego
Daniel John "Danny" Tarkanian (born December 18, 1961) is an American businessman and perennial candidate for political office. A member of the Republican Party, he has mounted unsuccessful campaigns for the Nevada Senate (2004), Nevada Secretary of State (2006), the United States Senate (2010) and the United States House of Representatives (2012 and 2016). He most recently won the 2016 Republican primary in Nevada's 3rd congressional district, where he lost to Democrat Jacky Rosen in the November 8, 2016, general election.
Early life, education, and law career
Tarkanian was born in Redlands, California, the third of four children. He is the son of Jerry Tarkanian, a former prominent UNLV basketball coach, and Lois Tarkanian (née Huter), a Las Vegas City Councilwoman, educator of children with disabilities, administrator, and a co-founder for California's first private school for the deaf.
The Tarkanian family moved to Nevada in 1973 while Danny was 12. He attended Hyde Park Junior High School (Las Vegas, Nevada) and later the Bishop Gorman High School. He achieved honors in all four years. After graduating from high school, he spent one year at Dixie College, before becoming a student-athlete at UNLV where he was coached by his own father.
At Bishop Gorman High School, he played both basketball and football, and both sports teams went into the playoffs and won state championships. In basketball, he played point guard. In football, he played QB and was named All-Conference and All-State at his position twice. He was also named the Nevada’s Most Valuable Player.
He played basketball one season at Dixie State, where his team to the regional playoffs. He was named the school’s Male Freshman of the Year.
Tarkanian played 3 seasons, 1981–1984, for the UNLV Runnin' Rebels basketball. He was the starting point guard and captain. In his sophomore year, his team won 24 straight games and was ranked Number One nationally.
Tarkanian passed the Nevada Bar Exam and practiced law for eight years, four as proprietor of his own firm.
In 1995, Jerry Tarkanian became the head coach for the Fresno State Bulldogs basketball team at Fresno State, where Danny joined his father as an assistant coach. The team qualified for the post-season every year during Tarkanian's tenure.
Tarkanian moved back to Las Vegas following his father’s retirement in 2002. He started a real estate investment business and he co-founded the Tarkanian Basketball Academy.
2004 Nevada State Senate election
Following the election, Tarkanian successfully sued his Democratic opponent for libel and defamation. During the campaign, Schneider made various accusations against Tarkanian, including accusing him of involvement with the creation of illegal telemarketing companies designed to defraud the elderly. The case went to trial on July 27, 2009. Schneider stood by statements he made in a 2004 debate with Tarkanian and in campaign ads and fliers accusing Tarkanian. Former assistant U.S. Attorney Leif Reid, son of Nevada U.S. Senator Harry Reid, testified that Tarkanian was not part of the investigation into the telemarketing companies. On July 31, 2009, a Clark County District Court jury ruled in Tarkanian's favor and awarded him $50,000 in damages. On August 3, 2009, Schneider agreed to pay a $150,000 settlement in the case.
2006 Secretary of State election
In December 2005, Tarkanian announced his second bid for public office, this time a statewide election for Nevada Secretary of State. He defeated Brian Scroggins in the Republican primary and faced Democratic nominee Ross Miller, the son of former Nevada governor Bob Miller in the general election. Miller defeated Tarkanian in the general election.
2010 U.S. Senate election
In 2009, Tarkanian announced that he would run against Democratic U.S. Senator Harry Reid. Before other candidates entered the primary, Tarkanian was the front-runner for the Republican nomination. Former Nevada Republican Chairwoman Sue Lowden and Former Assemblywoman Sharron Angle entered the primary field shortly after Tarkanian's announcement and quickly overtook him in the polls. However, polls comparing the hypothetical matches of the leading Republicans versus Reid indicated a slight edge for Tarkanian: in the average of three polls taken from May 28 to June 3, Tarkanian polled 2% higher than Lowden and 3% higher than Angle against Reid. Those polls indicated Tarkanian had a lead of about 1% over Reid. Angle won the nomination with Tarkanian finishing third in the field. Angle ultimately lost the general election to Reid.
2012 congressional election
In January 2012, he announced he would run in the newly created Nevada's 4th congressional district. The district includes most of northern Clark County, as well as all or part of the rural counties of Esmeralda, Lincoln, Lyon, Mineral, Nye and White Pine. Obama is projected to have earned 56% of the vote here in 2008. U.S. Senate Majority leader Harry Reid defeated Republican Assemblywoman Sharron Angle by a 7-point margin, 51%-44%, while Reid defeated her statewide by a five-point margin. Racially, the white population is 62% and the African American population is 16% (which is higher than the other three districts). Hispanics are 27% of the district. As far as party registration, 46% are registered Democrats, higher than the statewide average of 43%. Registered Republicans are 33% of the district, while they make up 35% statewide.
In June 2012, a federal court issued a $17 million judgment against Tarkanian and his family in a California real estate deal gone bad. He issued a statement saying he would appeal. In June 2012, Tarkanian won the Republican primary with 32% of the vote, defeating eight other candidates. The most notable of these was State Senator Barbara Cegavske, who won the endorsements of the party establishment. Tarkanian faced Democratic State Senate majority leader Steven Horsford in the general election. He lost to Horsford 50%-42%. Although Tarkanian won the rural counties in the district by margins of better than 2-to-1, it was not enough to overcome a 28,800-vote deficit in the district's share of Clark County, home to four-fifths of the district's vote.
2016 congressional election
Tarkanian ran to represent Nevada's 3rd congressional district in the 2016 election. He won the Republican primary in June 2016, and faced Democrat Jacky Rosen in the November 2016 general election. Rosen won with 47% of the vote to Tarkanian's 46%.
In October 2001, Tarkanian married Amy Hanson. The couple lives in Las Vegas and they have four children. In 2011, Amy Tarkanian was elected chairwoman of the Nevada Republican Party, served about eight months, and resigned in February 2012 during her husband's primary campaign.
|Democratic||Michael A. Schneider||13,649||54%|
|Independent American||Janine Hansen||38,757||6.8%|
|None of These Candidates||22,666||4.0%|
|Republican||None of these||3,090||1.8|
|Republican||Robert X. Leeds||165||0.7|
|Democratic||Steven A. Horsford||120,501||50.11|
|Independent American||Floyd Fitzgibbons||9,389||3.90|
|Libertarian||Joseph P. Silvestri||9,341||3.88|
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