Berkley will challenge Heller for Senate seat

Shelley Berkley

Shelley Berkley

Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., announced Thursday she will run for the U.S. Senate seat being vacated by John Ensign.

Ensign, a two-term Republican, announced he will not seek another term, a result of the controversy and investigations generated by his affair with the wife of a senior staffer and close friend.

"As I talk to Nevadans across our state I hear one priority: Jobs, jobs, jobs," she said. "That has been my focus, whether it is fighting to prevent more layoffs of teachers, police and firefighters or getting loans for small business that want to grow, or helping Nevada become the clean energy capital of the world."

She said her candidacy presents a clear alternative to that of fellow Nevada congressional member Dean Heller.

"While Dean Heller is proudly fighting on behalf of the Tea Party to dismantle Medicare and Social Security and protect corporations that ship American jobs overseas, I will continue working on behalf of Nevada's middle-class families," she said.

She said her priorities include standing up for veterans, fighting to end Yucca Mountain and helping the economy improve.

"There is so much at stake in this election for Nevada," she said. "That is why I have decided to run for the U.S. Senate and work to build a stronger future for our state."

Heller, a Republican, announced his bid for the seat just days after Ensign said he wasn't running for re-election.


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