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April 20, 2014

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Assemblyman Hambrick mulls bid for Senate

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Cathleen Allison / AP

Nevada Assemblyman John Hambrick, R-Las Vegas, talks on the Assembly floor at the Nevada Legislature in Carson City, Nev., on Monday, March 18, 2013. Hambrick introduced a measure Monday that would set up counseling programs for sex trafficking victims, particularly children. (AP Photo/Cathleen Allison)

Assemblyman John Hambrick, R-Las Vegas, said Tuesday he’s considering a bid for the state Senate in the 2014 election.

His bid for the Senate would be in an important district that could decide whether Democrats or Republicans control the Senate during the 2015 legislative session.

The current senator, Sen. Barbara Cegavske, R-Las Vegas, won’t run again because she’s reached the 12-year term limit for senators to serve in the Legislature. This leaves Senate District 8 open.

Both Democrats and Republicans expect the race to be a close one in the upcoming election.

Hambrick lives in the district, making him an obvious potential candidate.

“I am interested,” he said.

He said he’s spoken to his Republican colleagues in the state Senate several times about running for the seat, and he hopes they’ll look favorably at his work ethic and what he’s accomplished during his three terms in the Assembly.

“I could hit the ground running a little bit quicker because of my legislative history and the logistics set up already (for a campaign),” he said, noting that he knows many people in the Senate district because his Assembly district is nested within it.

Hambrick represents Assembly District 2 along the western edge of Las Vegas between Desert Inn Road and West Summerlin Parkway.

It is one of two Assembly districts wholly within Senate District 8. Assemblywoman Marilyn Dondero Loop, D-Las Vegas, represents the other one, Assembly District 5.

Hambrick said he expects her to run for state Senate District 8.

“I believe that the Democrat opponent in Senate District 8 would be Marilyn Dondero Loop,” he said. “That should be pretty much a no-brainer, I think. ...It’s going to be interesting should the (Senate Republican) caucus feel I’ve earned their endorsement for that seat.”

Dondero Loop did not respond to an email request for comment sent this morning.

Hambrick said his desire to run for the state Senate won’t trump the will of Senate Republicans. He said he’s not sure which person they ultimately will choose as their candidate, but he won’t make a fuss if it’s not him.

“I’ll work for the party and work diligently for my own race in the Assembly, but, no, I will not force a primary,” he said, noting that he is a past chairman of the Clark County Republican Party and did not want to work against the party.

Senate Republicans did not say who they would endorse to run in Senate District 8.

“We are considering several candidates for endorsement in both SD 8 and SD 9,” said Senate Minority Leader Michael Roberson, R-Henderson. “We expect to make final endorsement decisions by mid-August.”

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