Heller is a former Nevada secretary of state and thee-term congressman who was appointed to the Senate by then-GOP Gov. Brian Sandoval to fill the seat left vacant when Republican Sen. John Ensign resigned amid a scandal. Heller won a full six-year term in 2012 but was defeated for reelection in 2018.

“After serving Nevada in the Senate, I thought I was done with politics,” Heller said.

But he charged “look what’s happened to Nevada. We have a governor more interested in putting us out of work than putting us back to work. Las Vegas became a sanctuary city. Violent crime’s exploding. People who work for a living are scared. And I’ve had it.”

In his 2018 reelection campaign, Heller ran more as a centrist Republican, emphasizing his abilities to get things accomplished by reaching across the aisle. But this time around he appears to be taking a much more conservative approach as he enters an already crowded primary field.