CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) - State Attorney General Frankie Sue Del Papa said Monday she won't seek a record fourth term next year - her first break in Nevada's elective politics in more than 20 years.
Del Papa's announcement had been expected, and had been mentioned in advance to several of the state's political figures - including Republican Brian Sandoval who's considering a 2002 bid for attorney general.
Del Papa said she discussed her plans with Sandoval prior to his announcement last Wednesday that he's resigning as state Gaming Commission chairman. The resignation ensures he can get conflict-free contributions from the state's gambling industry for the attorney general's campaign.
Others who got advance word of Del Papa's decision included Republican Gov. Kenny Guinn and U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev.
Del Papa, 51, won a seat as a university regent in 1980, and was elected secretary of state in 1986. She then was elected attorney general in 1990, 1994 and 1998.
''I'm not burned out at all,'' Del Papa said when asked whether that was a factor in her decision. ''Public service will always be part of what I do - but there are a lot of other things I'd like to do.''
Del Papa said she has other options, including teaching, but has made no firm plans. She also said she wants to work on issues such as environmental protection, education, domestic violence prevention and teen pregnancy prevention ''both at the state and national level.''
, But, she added, ''I'm not closing the door on politics forever. This is not a retirement.''
While she won't be a candidate in the 2002 election cycle, Del Papa said that doesn't preclude a run for some political office later on. ''You never know,'' she added.
Del Papa had backed out of a 1998 bid for governor and a 2000 bid for U.S. Senate. But she still has one of the best names in Nevada politics and is a strong campaigner.
Sandoval isn't the only one eyeing the attorney general's job. Others have included Republican state Sen. Mark James and Democratic Assemblywoman Barbara Buckley, both of Las Vegas.
Another possible GOP contender, Scott Scherer, lost to Del Papa in 1998. He's now serving on the state Gaming Control Board, following a stint as Guinn's chief of staff.
Del Papa is the lone Democrat among Nevada's constitutional officers, and the others - all Republicans - are expected to run again. That includes Gov. Kenny Guinn, Lt. Gov. Lorraine Hunt, Secretary of State Dean Heller, Treasurer Brian Krolicki and Controller Kathy Augustine.