MINDEN - Senate Minority Leader Dina Titus,, D-Las Vegas, made it official Sunday, formally declaring herself a candidate for governor.
She said she chose Minden to make the announcement, "because I want to send a message this is going to be a statewide campaign."
Titus has been fighting a perception throughout the past legislature that she is purely a Las Vegas candidate. She said Sunday she would be governor for all of Nevada, and believes the needs of rural Nevada have too long been ignored.
She spent a significant amount of time during the past six months visiting rural parts of the state, attending different events and listening to voters. Sunday, she said that on rural issues, her voting record "is about 90 percent the same as (retired Minden Sen.) Lawrence Jacobsen's.'
Titus said as governor she would get state government out of people's business.
"We should lock up the bad guys, educate out children, and then get out of the way," she said. "I think government does not need to be so intrusive in people's lives. It does not need to tell us how to live, how to die and what god to worship."
Titus also took a jab at the leading Republican contender, Rep. Jim Gibbons: "Also, Nevadans don't believe the way to learn to be a good governor is to get your training in Washington, D.C."
She said she led the charge for a property tax freeze, which she said helped push the eventual cap on tax increases down during last session. She said she stood up to developers who wanted to develop in Red Rock and worked for flood relief for both Las Vegas and western Nevada.
She also said she has stood up to powerful interests, including gaming, during her tenure as a senator.
"I said when I first ran for Senate, I think for myself and nobody owns me," she said. "That was true then, and it's true now."
She downplayed the importance of being a woman. Nevada has never elected a woman governor.
"I don't think this has anything to do with gender," she said. "I'm a fighter who sticks up for Nevadans. We can make this an even better state, and I think I'm the person to lead that charge."
She declined to be specific about fund-raising, saying only that "however much it takes, we'll have it."
Titus, 55, is a political science professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. She has served in the Nevada Senate since 1989 and has been minority leader since 1993. She has served on the Legislative Commission and the Finance Committee last session. She is the author of two books.
Her opponent in the primary will be Assembly Speaker Richard Perkins, D-Henderson, who is organizing a campaign, but hasn't yet made it official.
Several Republicans are considering the race, in addition to Gibbons. State Sen. Bob Beers of Las Vegas has announced. Lt. Gov. Lorraine Hunt, University System Chancellor Jim Rogers and Reno Mayor Bob Cashell are all considering the race.
Titus will repeat her announcement today in Reno and Las Vegas.