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Congressman tapped to succeed senator

CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) -- Rep. Dean Heller, R-Nev., will enter next year's U.S. Senate race as an incumbent after Gov. Brian Sandoval said Wednesday that Heller will succeed John Ensign next month. Heller's appointment sets up a political scramble on how his House seat will be filled. State law says a special election must be held within 180 days of a vacancy.

Ensign, 53, a Republican, has been dogged by an ethics investigation after acknowledging in 2009 that he had an extramarital affair with a former staffer.

Last month, Ensign said he would not seek re-election next year, then abruptly announced his resignation effective May 3.

In a statement Wednesday, Sandoval said Heller "is an experienced representative who is ready for the responsibilities of this office and who will work hard, not just for Nevada, but for the entire nation."

Rep. Shelley Berkley, a seven-term Democrat from Las Vegas, also has announced her candidacy for the Senate seat.


Father eyed in fire fatal to self, 5 children

VANCOUVER, Wash. (AP) -- A Vancouver man apparently set fire to his own home, killing himself and five of his children, authorities said Wednesday.

Police said they believe those killed in Sunday's fire were Tuan Dao, 37; Nolan, 12; Noah, 9; Jacob, 9; Samantha, 8; and Nathan, 6. The Clark County Medical Examiner's Office, which is using dental records, may officially confirm the names in a few days, said Kim Kapp, police spokeswoman.

Tuan Dao is the only suspect identified so far.

The newspaper the Columbian reported that the Daos filed for bankruptcy last year, citing $158,000 in credit card debt. The paperwork also disclosed $2,000 in gambling losses. The couple also owed $262,000 on the house that burned, while the property was valued at $179,000.

The Columbian reported Dao's wife, Lori, and a 13-year-old daughter were away at the time of the fire.

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