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August 23, 2014

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North Las Vegas Sen. Atkinson mulls run for secretary of state

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Cathleen Allison / AP

Nevada Sen. Kelvin Atkinson, D-North Las Vegas, listens to debate on the Senate floor at the Legislative Building in Carson City on Wednesday, May 22, 2013. At left is Sen. James Settelmeyer, R-Minden.

Sen. Kelvin Atkinson, D-North Las Vegas, said he’s considering running for secretary of state during the 2014 election.

Attending an event for Rep. Steven Horsford, D-Nev., Atkinson said he’s “always” wanted to run for that office and explained why he thinks he’d be a good candidate.

The first-term senator said he’s gained a lot of national and state-level support from gay rights groups after he declared he is gay during a Senate floor debate over a same-sex marriage proposal.

“The viability is there,” he said. “I have a lot of new friends from this session. There are a lot of folks in the LGBT community who are wanting me to (run). … I have a very good appeal to the (Democratic) base right now. I had a pretty good session.”

He said he’s confident that mostly liberal Democrats would vote during a primary election that could feature him against Democratic state Treasurer Kate Marshall, who political journalist Jon Ralston says is already in the race.

Atkinson said he’s exploring the bid now, and said he’ll decide by Labor Day.

Asked why he’d like to be secretary of state, he said he’s always had an interest in that office and that he already has experience dealing with election law as a candidate and as a state legislator.

He appears to have gained some public support from colleagues in the Senate, including Sen. Tick Segerblom, D-Las Vegas, who tweeted a statement of support.

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