Las Vegas philanthropist and community leader Susie Lee has jumped into the growing Democratic primary field for Nevada’s Congressional District 4.
Lee, a political newcomer who has never run for office, on Wednesday announced she would join former Assemblywoman Lucy Flores and state Sen. Ruben Kihuen, D-Las Vegas, in a three-way primary bid for the seat currently held by U.S. Rep. Cresent Hardy.
Hardy, R-Mesquite, upset former Democratic Congressman Steven Horsford to represent the sprawling district — which includes parts of northern Clark County and six other Nevada counties — in November.
Lee, who said she was weighing a run in Congressional District 3 just last month, said she has spent the last few months mulling a bid for Hardy’s post.
She cited frustration over “political deadlock” in Washington, D.C. as her primary motivation to enter District 4’s much-anticipated 2016 Democratic primary, where she hopes a platform centered around education and renewable energy job creation can push her past two well-known political names.
From there, she figures her years of experience in the nonprofit sphere can help her resolve a partisan disconnect she said Hardy has “epitomized” in his short time on Capitol Hill.
“I think I’ve demonstrated that I’m a problem solver,” Lee said. “I think when someone walks into a voting booth they’re looking at the quality of the person they’re voting for and what they can do for them.
“I’ve accomplished a lot in this community and I think people will vote for that.”
Lee, a noted nonprofit fundraiser, has co-founded or helped run no fewer than three Las Vegas-area organizations aimed at helping to resolve issues ranging from homelessness to gang violence.
Born to a family of eight in Ohio, she has lived in Nevada since 1993. Lee holds a master’s degree in public management from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Penn. Her husband Dan Lee is the CEO of regional casino operator Full House Resorts.
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