Friday, Jan. 17, 2014 | 6:06 p.m.
The campaign of Democratic congressional candidate Erin Bilbray has lost its manager, Bradley Mayer.
Mayer left the Bilbray campaign on friendly terms and will continue as an informal adviser to the campaign, Mayer told the Sun Friday evening. Independent journalist Jon Ralston, in a tweet Friday afternoon, was the first to report Mayer’s departure.
A veteran political consultant for local candidates, Mayer said federal races were not his "cup of tea" and now was the right time to exit the campaign.
Bilbray is trying to unseat incumbent Republican Rep. Joe Heck in Nevada's 3rd Congressional District, which includes Henderson, parts of Las Vegas and Boulder City.
Political observers expect the race to be heated because the district is almost evenly split between Democratic and Republican voters.
As such, Senate Majority Harry Reid, D-Nev., has taken interest in the race and the fate of Bilbray, who is the daughter of former Nevada Congressman Jim Bilbray.
"I've known the family forever," Reid said. "I have great admiration for them. I care a great deal about Erin and her campaign is getting better every day."
Reid hinted at changes to the campaign in an interview Thursday.
"She's (Bilbray) made some structural changes, and I understand that Rebecca Lambe, who's the guru of Nevada politics, is involved in her campaign now," Reid said.
Lambe, whom Reid has been known to call “a genius,” is a heavyweight in Nevada Democratic circles.
Reid has credited Lambe with masterminding the Democrats’ resurgence in Nevada, getting the state an early presidential primary, and orchestrating Reid’s decisive 2010 re-election against tea party challenger Sharron Angle.
Staff writer Karoun Demirjian contributed to this report.