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August 16, 2022

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Damon Political Report

NLV lawmaker makes bid for Congress official

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Sen. John Lee, D-North Las Vegas

Sen. John Lee, D-North Las Vegas

Not to be left in the dust as his fellow Democrats begin launching their campaigns for Congress, state Sen. John Lee, D-North Las Vegas, made his own bid official today.

Lee is the third Democrat to throw his hat in the ring for one of three Southern Nevada congressional districts.

Because the new lines aren’t drawn, Lee joins former U.S. Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., and Assembly Speaker John Oceguera, D-Las Vegas, in making a generic announcement.

“No one knows where the lines are so I’m announcing to the world I’m running,” Lee said. “With Titus and Oceguera coming out so early, it gave me the opportunity to stake my claim too.”

Lee has earned a reputation as a conservative Democrat during his three terms in the Assembly and two terms in the state Senate. Last session, he clashed often with Oceguera, accusing the speaker of employing a bullying leadership style and ripping off legislation ideas from other lawmakers.

Lee said he will run for whichever district includes the southern rural counties and his North Las Vegas senate district.

That likely means he’ll go up against U.S. Rep. Joe Heck, R-Nev., who represents the 3rd Congressional District. That district is largely expected to remain competitive and will likely include the southern rural counties.

Oceguera also is expected to run in CD3, meaning a potential primary battle with Lee.

“I’m looking forward to it, if it comes to that,” Lee said. “I’m expecting there will be some primary. A primary is not dissuading me at all.”

Lee said he has not received any pushback from party leaders, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., who is known to frown on primaries.

“Harry Reid and I are friends,” Lee said. “I’ve talked to him for four years about this. He was very encouraging. I'm fully expecting he’ll fund me at whatever level he does.”

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