Monday, Oct. 7, 2013 | 2:04 p.m.
The Senate Republican caucus today announced it is endorsing a pair of GOP women to run in two of the state's most competitive districts next year-- two of three races that could determine which party controls the Nevada State Senate.
But despite the party's effort to clear the field with an early endorsement, the candidates could potentially face Republican primary foes.
In Senate District 9, Las Vegas lawyer Becky Harris will vie for the chance to take on the Democratic incumbent, Sen. Justin Jones. Harris, a foreclosure mediation specialist and mother of two, could face Las Vegas doctor Vick Gill, an early favorite in 2012, who ultimately dropped out of that race.
In Senate District 8, the seat being vacated by term-limited Sen. Barbara Cegavaske, R-Las Vegas, the GOP caucus has recruited businesswoman Patricia Farley. She owns a construction business and an indoor play area for children. Assemblyman John Hambrick, R-Las Vegas, has expressed interest in the race but said he would bow to the caucus if they chose to endorse somebody else.
“Patricia and Becky are proven women of action who will help lead the fight to improve public education, create more jobs, and bring stability to the housing market in Nevada,” Senate Minority Leader Michael Roberson said in a written release Monday.
Democrats currently hold a slim 11-10 majority in the Senate. Both parties have identified three competitive races as the battleground for control of the Senate. In addition to districts 8 and 9, Roberson's Senate District 20 is also on the radar screen. Roberson already faces primary opponent Carl Bunce, a Ron Paul Republican.