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Watch: GOP candidate resurfaces with new persona to run in a different state

Dan Rodimer lost an election for Nevada’s 3rd District in November. Four months later, he’s running in a special election for a U.S. House seat in Texas — after a complete transformation.

By Emily Singer - March 26, 2021
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A Republican former professional wrestler is district-hopping in hopes of winning a U.S. House seat — and has apparently changed his personality as he tries to make those congressional dreams a reality.

Dan Rodimer won the GOP nomination in Nevada’s 3rd Congressional District in November 2020. He went on to lose to Democratic Rep. Susie Lee by a 3-point margin in the suburban Las Vegas-based seat.

A little more than four months later, he’s back, this time running in a special election in a Dallas-based seat more than 1,200 miles away — and he’s almost unrecognizable from his previously failed bid.

In his Nevada race, Rodimer ran ads painting himself as a clean-cut family man, wearing a collared shirt and seated on a couch with his wife and five children.

In the ad, he was defending himself from reports that he had been accused of assault three times between 2010 and 2013. According to a report from the Associated Press in October 2019, Rodimer was accused of punching men “at or outside of nightclubs.”

Now, Rodimer is back and running in a special election in Texas’ 6th Congressional District — a Dallas-based House seat left vacant after Rep. Ron Wright died following a COVID-19 diagnosis.

And Rodimer looks like a totally different person, donning a cowboy hat and positioning himself as a rodeo bull rider with a Texas accent. The ad hits on every right-wing culture war issue of the day and is being touted by Benny Johnson, a far-right instigator who works for the conservative organization Turning Point USA.

Texas’ 6th District is a competitive seat. Trump carried it by 3 points in 2020, down from the 12 points he carried it by in 2016.

Rodimer is one of nearly a dozen Republicans running for the seat, including the former congressman’s widow, Susan Wright.

The special election is scheduled for May 1. All candidates, regardless of party, run on the same ballot, with the top two vote recipients moving on to a runoff if no candidate garners 50% of the vote. Because it’s such a crowded field, the race will almost certainly go to a runoff on May 24.

Inside Elections, the nonpartisan political handicapping outlet, rates the race a Leans Republican contest.

Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.


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