State Sen. John Lee headed to Washington on Wednesday to talk about his congressional candidacy with U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., and other Democratic Party leaders.
While there, the North Las Vegas senator will try to burnish his conservative credentials by picking up an award from the National Rifle Association and by meeting with "Blue Dog" Democrats, the shrinking class of lawmakers who don't always vote along party lines.
Lee's trip comes as he positions himself to run in what probably will be the most competitive congressional district in Southern Nevada once the outlines are decided by a special court panel.
If Lee gets past a Democratic primary, he could face Rep. Joe Heck, R-Nev., who represents the 3rd Congressional District, where Democrats have a slight edge in party registration.
Lee announced he was running for the House in August, joining three other Southern Nevada Democrats already campaigning with more expected to jump into the contests.
"It's always a pleasure to meet with my good friend, Sen. Reid, and other members of Congress to discuss how we can overcome the challenges facing our state," Lee said in a statement.
"I look forward to joining them in Congress, confident that a strong congressional delegation from Nevada can help Nevada's families get back to work."
Besides Reid, Lee said he will meet with Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., members of the Blue Dog Coalition, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and labor organizations.
Reid has been encouraging all the Democrats who have met or talked with him about congressional runs, including former Rep. Dina Titus and state Sen. Ruben Kihuen, D-Las Vegas.
Outgoing Assembly Speaker John Oceguera, D-Las Vegas, also has announced he is running for Congress, but he hasn't scheduled a trip to Washington to make the rounds.
State Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford, D-Las Vegas, hasn't yet officially announced a bid for the House but is expected to do so and receive backing from the party, Reid and President Barack Obama.
Horsford was in Washington last week to hear Obama deliver his jobs address to Congress.
Lee said the National Rifle Association's Institute for Legislative Action is scheduled to give him an award on Friday. It recognizes Lee for backing creation of the Clark County Shooting Park in North Las Vegas, something Reid was heavily involved in too.
In the Legislature, Lee is well-known for promoting guns rights legislation, a popular bipartisan issue in Nevada.
Contact reporter Laura Myers at email@example.com or 702-387-2919. Follow @lmyerslvrj on Twitter.