Sam Morris / Las Vegas Sun
Monday, Dec. 16, 2013 | 8:55 a.m.
Assemblywoman Marilyn Dondero Loop, D-Las Vegas, announced today she plans to run for state Senate in one of the state’s most competitive districts next year.
The three-term Democratic assemblywoman immediately received the endorsement of Democrats in the state Senate, making her the chosen candidate ahead of the March 2014 candidate filing deadline.
Barring a primary challenge, Dondero Loop will likely face Republican candidate Patricia Farley in Senate District 8.
The race will be one of three to watch in 2014 as Republicans vie with Democrats for control of the state Senate, which has 11 Democrats and 10 Republicans.
In choosing Dondero Loop, Democrats have put their hopes behind a retired Clark County School District teacher with a long record of community service and experience in the Nevada Legislature.
She has served on health and education committees in the Legislature, while representing Assembly District 5 in Summerlin and Southwest Las Vegas, an area that comprises half of the Senate district she hopes to represent.
Dondero Loop is the daughter of Thalia Dondero, a longtime Clark County commissioner and member of the Nevada Board of Regents.
Political observers have long considered Dondero Loop a possible Senate candidate.
The Nevada Senate Democratic Caucus announced her candidacy this morning.
Republicans announced Farley’s candidacy in October. She is a political newcomer who owns a construction business and an indoor play area for children.
Sen. Barbara Cegavske, R-Las Vegas, currently represents the Senate district but can’t run for reelection because of Nevada’s term-limit law, which bars legislators from holding office for more than 12 years. Cegavske is running for secretary of state.
Dondero Loop and Farley will be vying for the open Senate seat in a district that’s about evenly split between registered, active Democratic and Republican voters.
Dondero Loop’s announcement means that Democrats and Republicans alike have finished recruiting candidates for competitive Senate races.
In addition to Dondero Loop and Farley, political observers see incumbent Sens. Michael Roberson, R-Henderson, and Justin Jones, D-Las Vegas, as vulnerable because they represent districts about evenly split between Democrats and Republicans in voter registration.
Senate Republicans are backing Farley, Roberson, and Becky Harris, an attorney who is challenging Jones in Senate District 9.
Democrats in the Senate are supporting Dondero Loop, Jones, and Teresa Lowry, a Clark County prosecutor who is challenging Roberson in Senate District 20.
Although these are the candidates elected officials are backing, they are not without other challengers.
Republican activist Carl Bunce has said he is challenging Roberson in the Republican primary election next June.