weather icon Clear

Cortez Masto withdraws from Biden VP consideration to focus on Nevada

Updated May 28, 2020 - 5:37 pm

Nevada Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto has withdrawn her name for consideration as former Vice President Joe Biden’s running mate in the 2020 presidential election, she announced Thursday.

“I support Joe Biden 100 percent and will work tirelessly to help get him elected this November,” Cortez Masto said in a statement. “It is an honor to be considered as a potential running mate, but I have decided to withdraw my name from consideration.”

She continued: “Nevada’s economy is one of the hardest hit by the current crisis and I will continue to focus on getting Nevadans the support they need to get on back on their feet.”

Nevada’s senior senator was widely rumored to be on a shortlist that includes fellow U.S. Sens. Amy Klobuchar, of Minnesota, and Elizabeth Warren, of Massachusetts, and Kamala Harris, of California, as well as several governors.

Biden’s campaign has pledged to select a woman as his running mate.

Biden released a statement through his campaign Thursday evening.

“I’ve admired Senator Cortez Masto as long as I have known her because she’s a leader with integrity,” he said. “Nevadans are fortunate to have her fighting for them in Washington, and I look forward to seeing her continue to lead in the Senate.”

Some believed Cortez Masto, the granddaughter of a Mexican immigrant, could strengthen Biden’s appeal for two crucial Democratic voting blocs: women and Latinos. The former Nevada attorney general was the first Latina elected to the Senate in 2016.

She may have also helped Biden shore up his support in Nevada, where he finished a distant second to Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the February Democratic caucuses. Although not weighed as heavily for political strategists as larger states like Michigan or Pennsylvania, Nevada is a key battleground that President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign is targeting despite major Democratic gains in 2018.

Former Nevada Sen. Harry Reid, whom Cortez Masto succeeded, was among her biggest champions for a shot at the vice presidency.

Had she been elected, she would have surpassed Reid, a friend of her late father, as Nevada’s highest ranking federal official in history.

“I can’t say enough about my admiration for Sen. Cortez Masto,” Reid said in a statement shortly after Cortez Masto’s announcement. “She is a truly gifted leader who always puts Nevada first, and I will continue supporting her however I can. Her leadership will be critical as Nevada and the country recovers from this public health and economic crisis.”

Contact Rory Appleton at rappleton@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0276. Follow @RoryDoesPhonics on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Politics Videos
Clark County Democratic leaders resign
Several key Clark County Democratic Party leaders have resigned as progressive leadership has swelled in recent months.
Dream Big Nevada celebrates DACA ruling - VIDEO
The U.S. Supreme Court on Thursday rejected President Donald Trump’s effort to end legal protections under DACA for 650,000 young immigrants. Astrid Silva, founder of Dream Big Nevada, discusses the temporary victory and the next step for Dreamers.
Councilwoman Michele Fiore walks out of city council meeting - Video
Las Vegas Councilwoman Michele Fiore walks out of a City Council meeting during public comments.
Mitt Romney marches in Washington, D.C., protest - Video
On Sunday, Republican Sen. Mitt Romney of Utah joined a group of protesters marching through Washington, D.C. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada gyms, bars that do not serve food can reopen Friday - VIDEO
Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak on Tuesday evening said Phase 2 of the state’s Nevada United: Roadmap to Recovery will begin on Friday. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada Rep. Horsford admits to having affair - VIDEO
Nevada Congressman Steven Horsford admitted to having an affair with Gabriela Linder, a former intern for Sen. Harry Reid. Linder detailed her account of the affair in a podcast she called, "Mistress for Congress." (Heidi Fang/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sisolak says businesses will begin reopening under phase 1 - VIDEO
The first phase of reopening Nevada’s businesses will begin Saturday, May 9, Gov. Steve Sisolak said Thursday. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Joe Biden denies Tara Reade's sexual assault allegation - VIDEO
The former senate aide claims Biden assaulted her in 1993 when he was a senator. Biden first denied the accusations via a public post on Medium. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
RJ interview with Sisolak on the reopening plan for Nevada - VIDEO
The Las Vegas Review-Journal interviewed Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak on the plan for reopening Nevada during the coronavirus pandemic. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sisolak reacts to Goodman CNN interview- VIDEO
Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman repeated her call to immediately reopen businesses during an interview with CNN’s Anderson Cooper on Wednesday, leading to a reaction from Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Sisolak praises Nevadans for staying at home, saving lives - VIDEO
Gov. Steve Sisolak said Thursday it’s still too early to know when the state’s COVID-19 shutdown orders could be lifted or when businesses could start to reopen their doors. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Trump gives governors 3-phase approach to open US - VIDEO
President Donald Trump declared victory in America’s war against the “invisible enemy” as the president’s Coronavirus Task Force released “Opening up America Again” guidelines. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Trump names Jacky Rosen to task force on reopening economy - VIDEO
President Donald Trump named Sen. Jacky Rosen, D-Nev., to be a member of his Opening Up America Again Congressional Group Thursday to advise him on coronavirus policy. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bernie Sanders endorses Joe Biden for president - VIDEO
On April 13, former presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders announced his official endorsement of former Vice President Joe Biden. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Bernie Sanders drops out of 2020 Democratic race for president - VIDEO
Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont officially announced an end to his 2020 presidential bid on Wednesday. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)