Catherine Cortez Masto takes Senate seat as first Latina, Nevada woman | NevadaAppeal.com

Catherine Cortez Masto takes Senate seat as first Latina, Nevada woman

The Associated Press
FILE - In this May 29, 2013 file photo, Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto talks to media at the Legislative Building in Carson City, Nev. Masto announced Wednesday, April 8, 2015, that she will run for Harry Reid's Senate seat in 2016. She says she left her new job as the executive vice chancellor for the Nevada System of Higher Education on Tuesday to launch her campaign. (AP Photo/Kevin Clifford, File)
AP | AP

LAS VEGAS — Catherine Cortez Masto has been sworn in to the U.S. Senate, becoming Nevada’s first female in the upper chamber of Congress and the nation’s first Latina senator.

Spokesman Stewart Boss said Tuesday the Democratic former Nevada state attorney general was joined for the ceremony in Washington by her husband, Paul Masto, and other family members.

Cortez Masto defeated former Republican U.S. Rep. Joe Heck in November to replace Harry Reid, who retired after 34 years in Congress including 10 years as Democratic party leader.

In a statement, Cortez Masto says she intends to represent working families, fight discrimination, and focus on issues including immigration, women’s health and rights, education and retirement security.

She says she also wants to end the use of “secret unlimited money” in politics.