Tierney Cahill says her decision to file to run against U.S. Rep. Jim Gibbons is a classroom project that turned into a serious race.
Cahill is a sixth-grade teacher at Sarah Winnemucca Elementary in Reno who says her students challenged her to run.
"One of my students said you have to be rich and well connected to run," she said. "I thought about it and I had to agree."
She said she didn't want to agree with that pessimistic statement so, "it became a class project but has since become more serious."
Cahill, 32, has taught in Washoe County five years. She is a Democrat who said she filed against Gibbons because she believes in offering voters a choice.
She described Gibbons as "a good man, I believe," but said she believes she can better represent the average voter.
"I'm working class, middle class," she said. "I see things from a different perspective."
She said she wants to look at the science involved but opposes nuclear waste in the state because "I don't like the idea of Nevada being a garbage dump.
She said she is Catholic, but that her personal opinion on issues such as right to life vs. choice would probably differ from her political beliefs.
"I don't feel it's appropriate to place my religious beliefs on other people," she said. "I don't see as government has a role in telling anybody what to do with their body."
House District 2 covers all of Nevada except Las Vegas.