Oceguera announces intention to run for Congress
Assembly Speaker John Oceguera, D-Las Vegas, made official Monday what everyone has known since February: He will run for a seat in Congress next year.
He just can’t tell you which seat that is since congressional redistricting hasn’t been done.
Oceguera, who is termed out of the Nevada Assembly, promised to “fight for what’s right” if elected to federal office.
He said Nevadans have a sense of hard work, independence and community.
“Whether it’s balancing the budget, enacting meaningful education reform or fighting to create jobs, Nevadans have the resolve to stand up for the middle class in tough times,” he said. “Sadly, the same cannot be said for Washington, D.C.”
He said he is running for Congress to stand up to Washington and get results.
“As Washington politicians try to take away seniors’ hard-earned right to Medicare – some even calling Social Security a pyramid scheme – and, instead, give special tax breaks to oil companies and insurance companies, I’ll fight for what’s right,” he said. “I’ll fight to protect Medicare, create jobs and get our economy back on track.”
Oceguera will have served 12 years in the Nevada Assembly at the conclusion of his current term, as speaker of the Assembly in the 2011 session.
He won’t know the makeup of his congressional district – or which other potential candidates may end up in it – until the court battle over the district maps is resolved.
There is more than just the one new seat up for grabs. Dean Heller left the 2nd Congressional District when he was appointed to finish John Ensign’s Senate term. Shelley Berkley has announced she will challenge Heller for that Senate seat next year, vacating her House seat.
Former state Sen. Mark Amodei, R-Carson City, is running against Treasurer Kate Marshall, D-Reno, to finish Heller’s House term. That will be decided in a Sept. 13 special election, but they are both expected to run again next year for the full term in the district.
There are several other potential candidates for Nevada’s house seats. Former Rep. Dina Titus, D-Las Vegas, is expected to try to reclaim a seat. And Republican Joe Heck, who took Titus’s seat in 2010, is expected to seek a second term.
State Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford, D-Las Vegas, is also eyeing a congressional run.
Nevada qualified for a fourth member of the House in the 2000 census, which will dramatically change the existing district maps. What the final boundaries look like is in the hands of the courts since the 2011 Legislature failed to complete redistricting by adjournment. Gov. Brian Sandoval vetoed both of the Democrat plans, saying they violated the federal Voter Rights Act of 1965.
Carson District Judge Todd Russell has given the Democratic and Republican parties and the Secretary of State’s Office until Wednesday to submit their suggestions on how to run the redistricting process and to recommend who should join the team of special masters to draw the maps for Congress and for Nevada’s legislative districts.
Russell initially recommended a team of masters to manage the process including the registrars of voters from Clark and Washoe counties representing urban Nevada and Alan Glover, clerk/treasurer in Carson City, to represent rural counties. He said his goal was to reduce the politics involved in drawing districts that will be used for the next 10 years.