Danny Tarkanian

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
Danny Tarkanian
Danny Tarkanian by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Born Daniel John Tarkanian
(1961-12-18) December 18, 1961 (age 56)
Redlands, California, U.S.
Education Dixie State University
University of Nevada, Las
University of San Diego (JD)
Political party Republican
Spouse(s) Amy Hanson (2001–present)
Children 4
Relatives Jerry Tarkanian (Father)
Website Official website

Daniel John Tarkanian (born December 18, 1961) is an American businessman, former attorney, and perennial candidate for elective 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), the Nevada System of Higher Education (2014), and the United States House of Representatives (2012 and 2016). He most recently lost to Democrat Jacky Rosen in the November 8, 2016, general election by a close margin.[1][2][3]

Tarkanian was running for the U.S. Senate against incumbent Dean Heller in the 2018 Republican primary, but withdrew to run for the House of Representatives.

Early life, education and law career[edit]

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),[4] a Las Vegas City Councilwoman, educator of children with disabilities, administrator, and a co-founder for California's first private school for the deaf.

Tarkanian grew up in three different California cities (Riverside, Pasadena, Huntington Beach) as his father progressed in his professional career.

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. 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.

After graduating from high school, he spent one year at Dixie College, playing basketball one season, where his team went to the regional playoffs. He was named the school’s Male Freshman of the Year.

Tarkanian then transferred to UNLV, where he was coached by his own father.[5] He played 3 seasons, 1981–1984, for the UNLV Runnin' Rebels basketball.[6] He was the starting point guard and captain. In his sophomore year, his team won 24 straight games and was ranked Number One nationally. At UNLV, Tarkanian was twice named First-Team Academic All-American by the CoSIDA.[7] He was the school’s first Rhodes Scholar candidate and received the NCAA post-graduate award.[8]

He was drafted by the San Antonio Spurs in the 1984 NBA Draft in Round 8.[9]

Following graduation, Tarkanian received his J.D. from the University of San Diego School of Law, where he finished third in his class.[10]

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.

Political campaigns[edit]

2004 Nevada State Senate election[edit]

On May 4, 2004, Tarkanian filed to run in Nevada's 11th Senate district (map) against incumbent Michael A. Schneider.[11] Schneider defeated Tarkanian in the general election.[12]

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.[13][14]

2006 Secretary of State election[edit]

In December 2005, Tarkanian announced his second bid for public office, this time a statewide election for Nevada Secretary of State.[15] 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.[16]

2010 U.S. Senate election[edit]

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.[citation needed] Angle won the nomination with Tarkanian finishing third in the field. Angle ultimately lost the general election to Reid.

2012 Congressional election[edit]

In January 2012, he announced he would run in the newly created Nevada's 4th congressional district.[17] 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.[18] 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.[19]

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.[20] 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.[21] 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.

2014 Nevada System of Higher Education Regent election[edit]

Tarkanian filed to run for NSHE Regent on March 14, 2014 and withdrew on March 25, 2014 citing that he did not want to oppose a family friend.[22]

2016 Congressional election[edit]

Tarkanian ran to represent Nevada's 3rd congressional district in the 2016 election. He won the Republican primary in June 2016,[23] and faced Democrat Jacky Rosen in the November 2016 general election.[24] Rosen won with 47% of the vote to Tarkanian's 46%. Tarkanian sued Rosen after the election for defamation and the case is currently pending.[25]

2018 U.S. Senate election[edit]

On August 8, 2017, Tarkanian announced on Fox News he will run against incumbent Republican Nevada Senator Dean Heller in the 2018 primary and promises firmer support for President Donald Trump.[26][27] He was endorsed by Sarah Palin.[28][29] He has also gained the support of Steve Bannon, the executive chairman for Breitbart News.[30] Tarkanian has found himself in controversial territory having been endorsed by Dennis Hof, a well known brothel owner and self-described pimp in Nevada.[31] It was announced that while Tarkanian was promising stronger support for President Trump, that the president would be traveling to Nevada to campaign for Heller.[32]

On January 29, 2018, it was discovered by local Las Vegas reporter Steve Sebelius that Tarkanian had taken money from his non-profit and had filtered it to his 2012 campaign and then onto paying off his mortgage, raising questions about ethics and the legality of his funding of his 2012 campaign.[33]

On March 16, 2018, the last day to file to run for office, Tarkanian announced that he would be withdrawing from the Senate race after President Donald Trump announced his support for Dean Heller, to run for Nevada's 3rd congressional district, which he lost by a slim margin in the last election and President Trump had thrown his support for Tarkanian to run for. In 2018 Election, Tarkanian won the Republican party Primary Election and is the party's nominee for Nevada's 3rd congressional district.

Political scores[edit]

National Rifle Association[edit]

In 2012 Tarkanian received a 50% rating from the NRA, earning his highest rating in 2016 with an 86%.[34]

Personal life[edit]

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.[35]

Electoral history[edit]

2004 Nevada Senate election in Clark County District 11[36]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Michael A. Schneider 13,649 54%
Republican Danny Tarkanian 11,746 46%
Democratic hold Swing
2006 Nevada Secretary of State election[37]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Ross Miller 279,510 48.7%
Republican Danny Tarkanian 232,705 40.6%
Independent American (Nev.) Janine Hansen 38,757 6.8%
None of These Candidates 22,666 4.0%
Democratic gain from Republican Swing
2010 U.S. Senate Republican primary results [38]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Sharron Angle 70,422 40.1
Republican Sue Lowden 45,871 26.1
Republican Danny Tarkanian 40,926 23.3
Republican John Chachas 6,925 3.9
Republican Chad Christensen 4,803 2.7
Republican None of These Candidates 3,090 1.8
Republican Bill Parson 1,483 0.8
Republican Gary Bernstein 698 0.4
Republican Garn Mabey 462 0.2
Republican Cecilia Stern 355 0.2
Republican Brian Nadell 235 0.1
Republican Terry Suominen 223 0.1
Republican Gary Marinch 178 0.1
Total votes 175,691 100
2012 Republican primary in Nevada's 4th congressional district
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Danny Tarkanian 7,605 31.5
Republican Barbara Cegavske 6,674 27.7
Republican Kenneth Wegner 5,069 21.0
Republican Dan Schwartz 2,728 11.3
Republican Kiran Hill 666 2.8
Republican Diana Anderson 607 2.5
Republican Mike Delarosa 370 1.5
Republican Sid Zeller 252 1.0
Republican Robert X. Leeds 165 0.7
Total votes 24,136 100
2012 general election in Nevada's 4th congressional district [39]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Steven Horsford 120,501 50.11
Republican Danny Tarkanian 101,261 42.11
Independent American (Nev.) Floyd Fitzgibbons 9,389 3.90
Libertarian Joseph P. Silvestri 9,341 3.88
Total votes 240,492 100.0
2016 Republican primary in Nevada's 3rd congressional district[40]
Party Candidate Votes %
Republican Daniel Tarkanian 9,002 31.98%
Republican Michael Roberson 6,759 24.01%
Republican Michele Fiore 5,124 18.21%
Republican Andrew Matthews 3,975 14.12%
Republican Kerry Bowers 1,569 5.57%
Republican Annette Teijeiro 1,336 4.75%
Republican Sami Khal 381 1.35%
Total votes 28,146 100.00%
2016 general election in Nevada's 3rd congressional district[41]
Party Candidate Votes %
Democratic Jacky Rosen 146,869 47.23%
Republican Danny Tarkanian 142,926 45.96%
Independent American (Nev.) Warren Markowitz 11,602 3.73%
Independent David Goossen 9,566 3.08%
Total votes 310,963 100.00%
Democratic gain from Republican


  1. ^ Botkin, Ben (June 14, 2016). "GOP taps Tarkanian over Roberson in 3rd Congressional District primary". Las Vegas Review Journal. Retrieved June 16, 2016. 
  2. ^ Rindels, Michelle (July 13, 2015). "Republican Danny Tarkanian announces bid for Congress". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved June 16, 2016. 
  3. ^ https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2016/live-updates/general-election/real-time-updates-on-the-2016-election-voting-and-race-results/democrat-jacklyn-rosen-projected-to-beat-daniel-tarkanian-in-nevadas-3rd-district/
  4. ^ "Danny Tarkanian - Conservative Columnist and Political Commentator". Townhall.com. August 27, 2009. Retrieved September 21, 2011. 
  5. ^ [1] Archived November 26, 2009, at the Wayback Machine.
  6. ^ "UNLV Official Athletic Site - Men's Basketball". Unlvrebels.cstv.com. Retrieved September 21, 2011. 
  7. ^ "Andrew Hooker Named First Team Academic All-America". UNLV Rebels. February 6, 2002. Retrieved June 16, 2016. 
  8. ^ Harding, Adella. "Danny Tarkanian hits campaign trail". Elko Daily Free Press. Retrieved June 16, 2016. 
  9. ^ InsideHoops.com (June 9, 2005). "1984 NBA Draft". InsideHoops.com. Retrieved September 21, 2011. 
  10. ^ Mishak, Michael (May 2, 2010). "Danny Tarkanian looks to step from father's shadow, make name in politics". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved June 16, 2016. 
  11. ^ Kirsten Searer. "Assemblyman from Henderson says he won't run this year - Wednesday, May 5, 2004 | 11:29 a.m." Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved September 21, 2011. 
  12. ^ Ball, Molly (July 27, 2009). "Tarkanian to get day in court". Las Vegas Review Journal. Retrieved June 17, 2016. 
  13. ^ David Kihara. "Schneider, Tarkanian both on hand as libel trial begins". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved July 28, 2009. 
  14. ^ Jeff Pope. "Schneider to pay Tarkanian $150,000 to settle lawsuit". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved August 3, 2009. 
  15. ^ "UNLV Ex-Coach's Son Seeking State Office". The America's Intelligence Wire. December 2, 2005. 
  16. ^ "Danny Tarkanian (R)". Election 2012. Wall Street Journal. Retrieved June 17, 2016. 
  17. ^ "Danny Tarkanian to join race for new district seat". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved August 13, 2012. 
  18. ^ Waldron, Molly (June 12, 2012). "Tarkanian to face Horsford in CD4 House race". www.ktnv.com. Retrieved August 13, 2012. 
  19. ^ 2011 Districts State of Nevada Population Reports
  20. ^ "$17 million judgment ordered against candidate Danny Tarkanian". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved August 13, 2012. 
  21. ^ "Tarkanian wins nail-biter in 4th District race". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved August 13, 2012. 
  22. ^ https://www.reviewjournal.com/local/local-nevada/danny-tarkanian-drops-out-of-nevada-regents-race/
  23. ^ Botkin, Ben (September 26, 2016). "Tarkanian proposes CD3 debate; Rosen campaign calls it a 'sham'". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved October 6, 2016. 
  24. ^ http://www.rollcall.com/news/politics/party-winner-succeeds-heck-nevadas-3rd-district
  25. ^ https://www.reviewjournal.com/news/politics-and-government/tarkanian-accuses-rosen-of-defaming-him-in-campaign-ads/
  26. ^ "Dean Heller receives a primary challenger in Danny Tarkanian, a familiar candidate". The Washington Times. August 8, 2017. Retrieved August 8, 2017. 
  27. ^ "Nevada Senator Faces Challenge in 2018 GOP Senate Primary". Wall Street Journal. August 8, 2017. Retrieved August 8, 2017. 
  28. ^ "Exclusive — Sarah Palin Endorses Danny Tarkanian Against Dean Heller in Nevada Senate Race - Breitbart". Breitbart. 2017-08-24. Retrieved 2017-08-24. 
  29. ^ "Sarah Palin just endorsed a primary challenger to one of the most vulnerable Republican senators". INSIDER. Retrieved 2017-08-24. 
  30. ^ http://www.cnn.com/2017/11/21/politics/steve-bannon-controversial-candidates/index.html
  31. ^ http://www.washingtonexaminer.com/danny-tarkanian-who-is-challenging-sen-dean-heller-campaigns-with-a-pimp/article/2639185
  32. ^ https://www.cnn.com/2018/02/02/politics/trump-rnc-nevada-travel/index.html
  33. ^ http://www.lasvegasnow.com/news/tarkanian-faces-2012-campaign-funding-charity-questions/944518387
  34. ^ https://votesmart.org/candidate/evaluations/44098/danny-tarkanian#.WjdPsyOZOSM
  35. ^ Hostetler, Krista (April 22, 2012). "New Nevada GOP chairman elected". Retrieved October 1, 2012. 
  36. ^ "Las Vegas Review-Journal archive search - 2004 election results". Retrieved September 21, 2011. 
  37. ^ "2006 Secretary of State General Election Results - Nevada". Uselectionatlas.org. Retrieved September 21, 2011. 
  38. ^ "Nevada Senate Primary Results". NV Secretary of State. June 8, 2010. Archived from the original on July 16, 2011. Retrieved June 8, 2010. 
  39. ^ "Nevada General Election 2012 - U.S. Congress". Nevada Secretary of State. Retrieved November 27, 2012. 
  40. ^ "2016 Official Statewide Primary Election Results June 14, 2016". Nevada Secretary of State. June 14, 2016. Retrieved September 14, 2016. 
  41. ^ "Silver State Election Night Results 2016". Nevada Secretary of State. November 8, 2016. Retrieved December 9, 2016. 

External links[edit]