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Danny Tarkanian. Photo: JOHN GURZINSKI/AFP/Getty Images

Danny Tarkanian announced today he's running for Congress in Nevada's 3rd district instead of for the U.S. Senate, per the Nevada Independent.

Why it matters: Dean Heller is defending one of the most vulnerable Republican-held seats, as he's the only GOP senator up for re-election in 2018 who represents a state Hillary Clinton won in 2016.

Just minutes before the announcement, President Trump publicly nudged Tarkanian — who is backed by Steve Bannon and was running against incumbent Dean Heller in the Nevada Senate race — to instead run for the House of Representatives.

"It would be great for the Republican Party of Nevada, and it’s unity if good guy Danny Tarkanian would run for Congress and Dean Heller, who is doing a really good job, could run for Senate unopposed!"
— Trump on Twitter

Today is the filing deadline for candidates running in Nevada. Tarkanian joins a crowded primary in NV-03: there are six Democratic candidates running and eight Republicans. Although the district has a Democratic representative, Rep. Jacky Rosen, the Cook Political Report lists it as a toss-up race with R+2 partisan voter index.

How it happened: President Trump's office contacted Tarkanian about switching races earlier in the week, per the Nevada Independent, but he wasn't convinced then. He said he wouldn't switch to a congressional race unless Trump made it known publicly that that's what he wanted, which he eventually did via a tweet.

One more thing: Rep. Rosen is vacating her NV-03 House seat to run against Sen. Heller in the U.S. Senate race.

Go deeper

House passes $1.9 trillion COVID relief package

Photo: Screenshot via C-SPAN

The House approved President Biden's $1.9 trillion COVID relief package on a 219-212 vote early Saturday morning, sending it to the Senate for a possible rewrite before it gets to Biden's desk.

The big picture: The vote was a critical first step for the package, which includes $1,400 cash payments for many Americans, a national vaccination program, ramped-up COVID testing and contact tracing, state and local funding and money to help schools reopen.

10 hours ago - Health

Biden says it's "not the time to relax" after touring vaccination site

President Biden speaking after visiting a FEMA Covid-19 vaccination facility in Houston on Feb. 26. Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Biden said Friday that "it's not the time to relax" coronavirus mitigation efforts and warned that the number of cases and hospitalizations could rise again as new variants of the virus emerge.

Why it matters: Biden, who made the remarks after touring a vaccination site in Houston, echoed CDC director Rochelle Walensky, who said earlier on Friday that while the U.S. has seen a recent drop in cases and hospitalizations, "these declines follow the highest peak we have experienced in the pandemic."

Updated 11 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

  1. Health: Most COVID-19 survivors can weather risk of reinfection, study says — "Twindemic" averted as flu reports plummet amid coronavirus crisis
  2. Vaccine: FDA advisory panel endorses J&J COVID vaccine for emergency use — About 20% of U.S. adults have received first vaccine dose, White House says — New data reignites the debate over coronavirus vaccine strategy.
  3. Economy: What's really going on with the labor market.
  4. Local: All adult Minnesotans will likely be eligible for COVID-19 vaccine by summer — Another wealthy Florida community receives special access to COVID-19 vaccine.
  5. Sports: Poll weighs impact of athlete vaccination.