Kelli Ross to seek state Senate seat

CARSON CITY — Kelli Ross, the wife of Las Vegas City Councilman Steve Ross, said Monday that she will be a Democratic candidate for state Senate District 18 in northwest Las Vegas.

Ross, 48, said she decided to run because she is tired of the “head knocking” that went on between the two parties at the legislative session last year.

“I will listen to both sides,” said Ross, who noted she is “very conservative.”

“I am not partisan. I don’t care if a Republican or a Democrat has a good idea. My dad said you can’t complain unless you are willing to stand up at the plate and do something about it.”

This will be the first bid for political office by Ross, a lifelong Southern Nevadan, a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the mother of five and the grandmother of eight.

No other Democrats have announced their candidacies, but two Republican Assembly members, Scott Hammond and Richard McArthur, are running for the seat. The Senate Republican Caucus has endorsed Hammond, which has irritated McArthur, who has served longer in the Legislature.

Republicans hold a 1,300-registered voter advantage in the district, one awarded to Clark County during redistricting because of its increased population over the past decade compared with rural parts of the state. Both parties are expected to campaign keenly for the seat because Democrats now hold just an 11-10 membership advantage in the Senate.

Ross expects Democratic legislative candidates will do well during the presidential election year because they will turn out in high numbers and the Republican presidential candidates have been fighting each other.

One of her goals is to help small businesses by reducing red tape, looking at changes to the modified business tax and giving them more opportunity to grow.

Ross ran an electrical contracting business for 10 years before closing it during the recession.

“I have had to close my door and put people out of work,” Ross said. “We need to do everything we can to help small business.”

She said she can bring “level-headedness” to the Legislature and added that neither she nor her husband is afraid to make tough decisions, noting Steve Ross recently overcame a recall election.

“We will stand up and do what is right,” Kellli Ross said. “I don’t care if I am a one-termer or not.”

Contact Capital Bureau Chief Ed Vogel at or 775-687-3901.

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