Berkley’s Reno trip about Senate run

WASHINGTON — Rep. Shelley Berkley returned to Las Vegas on Wednesday after spending several days in Northern Nevada on a scouting trip as she considers running for U.S. Senate in 2012.

The Democrat appeared on two Reno-based political talk shows. She also visited with Joe Crowley, former president of University of Nevada, Reno; Wayne Frediani, executive director of the Nevada Franchised Auto Dealers Association; and Washoe County Judge Brent Adams, aides said.

Berkley was accompanied by her campaign manager Renee Aschoff. In an e-mail, Aschoff said Berkley’s meetings were with “friends of hers that go back to her university days and before.”

In an interview, Berkley allowed that the trip to Reno during this week’s U.S. House recess was part of her decision-making.

“I have many friends,” Berkley said. “Over the course of many years I have spent a considerable amount of time in Reno and I thought it would be a good idea to come up and see what is going on up here.”

Berkley, who is in her seventh term in the House, is sitting on a campaign bank account of just under $1.1 million, according to her year-end finance report at the Federal Election Commission.

While Berkley initially had said she expected to decide on a Senate run by mid-February, and then later amended it to summertime, she told TV interviewer Sam Shad on Tuesday she is in no rush.

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