Two years ago James Ohrenschall won election to the Assembly seat his mother held for 12 years.
Now he's trying to do something she did five times - win re-election.
To do so he'll have to defeat Republican Bridgette Bryant.
He starts with a significant advantage in voter registration. The district's voters are about 47 percent Democrat and 32 percent Republican.
Should he win and head to Carson City next year, Ohrenschall said he would build on his experience during his first legislative session to improve the state's education system and tackle budgetary and fiscal issues that will again top the agenda.
Nevada must improve its education if it hopes to diversify industry and attract the kinds of businesses that require an educated workforce, he said.
The state is at the bottom of so many lists, including many measuring the quality of education, that companies are reluctant to move here, he said. Putting more money into the system is the first step toward changing that, he said.
"Throwing money at it is not the sole answer, but doing what we've done for 60 to 70 years hasn't been working," Ohrenschall said.
Lawmakers will also have to revisit the state's tax system to ensure everyone is paying enough, he said.
"I think if you talk to Nevadans, they think that mining isn't paying its fair share," he said.
He also said an argument could be made for a sales tax on services.
Ohrenschall said he doesn't believe more taxes will scare businesses away. Nevada's poor educational reputation is already doing that, he said.
He remains a proponent of fewer regulations on business to attract new ventures to the state.
"We need to not make it more difficult to open a business here in Nevada," he said.
Ohrenschall pointed to a job-creating bill he sponsored last session that allowed independent labs to test the state's gaming machines. It was passed into law and created 150 to 200 jobs.
"That's a small drop in the bucket, but it's something," he said.
In the 2013 Legislature, Ohrenschall said he would continue to protect government services for children. As a public defender in the juvenile court, he sees how many of the children who run afoul of the law need support from outside their families.
Those families might be struggling with drug addiction, poverty and other issues that make it difficult for the children to succeed, he said. Government services are vital to fill those unmet needs, he said.
"I don't think that a state can raise a child, but there has to be something for them, whether it gets them back to school or gets them off using drugs," Ohrenschall said.
One issue he might tackle is raising the minimum age of juveniles who can be criminally charged as adults. Now children as young as 14 can be tried as adults.
Ohrenschall is also sponsoring a bill, being duplicated in all 50 states, that would protect the parental rights of military members serving overseas.
Bryant could not be reached for this report.
The Ms. Nevada Plus 2012 beauty pageant queen said on her website that she opposes tax increases and believes the state government needs to control spending. She also supports diversifying the state economy so it is not so dependent on a certain industries.
Contact reporter Brian Haynes at firstname.lastname@example.org or 702-383-0281.