Las Vegas Sun

September 19, 2017

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Nevada Democratic leader running for state attorney general

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Mikayla Whitmore

Senate Democratic Leader Aaron D. Ford speaks during a press conference by the Nevada State Democratic Party in Las Vegas, Nev. on June 15, 2016.

Updated Tuesday, Sept. 12, 2017 | 5:51 p.m.

The top Democrat in the Nevada Legislature announced Tuesday he is running for state attorney general.

Senate Majority Leader Aaron Ford said in an online campaign announcement that he wants to keep state residents safe, strengthen the middle class and protect families.

Ford's message also criticized the state's current attorney general, Adam Laxalt, a Republican who is widely expected to decide against seeking re-election and run for governor. Laxalt has not announced his candidacy.

"In the last few years, the attorney general's office in Nevada has become too focused on partisan politics and advancing an extreme, ideologically driven agenda that is far outside the mainstream," Ford's announcement said. "Nevadans deserve better from their top law enforcement officer."

Laxalt in a statement stressed his efforts to hold serious sex offenders accountable, reduce a police backlog in untested sexual assault kits, prosecute guardianship abuse cases and create a legal assistance office for military members.

A second statement from Ford listed endorsements from the state's Democratic congressional delegation: U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto and Reps. Dina Titus, Ruben Kihuen and Jacky Rosen. Masto was Nevada's attorney general before she was elected to Congress last year.

Ford is an attorney from Las Vegas who was elected to the state Senate in 2012. He was re-elected in 2016.

Wesley Duncan, who resigned last week as Laxalt's top assistant attorney general, is considered a likely candidate for Laxalt's position.

Duncan aides on Tuesday declined to comment on his future plans.