North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee told the Las Vegas Review-Journal on Tuesday he’s “very seriously considering” running for the congressional seat held by Rep. Ruben Kihuen, who said he will not seek a second term amid sexual harassment allegations.
Lee, a Democrat, served 14 years in the Nevada Legislature before being elected mayor of North Las Vegas in 2013. He was re-elected this year but said in March that he will not seek a third term in 2021.
“With the great explosion of activity that we’ve generated here in North Las Vegas, we seem to be working on local and federal issues at the same time,” said Lee, who visited Washington twice in November to strike a deal involving water rights and developing 40 acres of land owned by Nellis Air Force Base.
“There are a lot of issues that need to be addressed with the growth of the city, the growth of Nellis Air Force Base and the growth of the 4th Congressional District,” Lee said. “I am looking at how prepared I am to address those issues.”
Kihuen, who pays $51,660 annually to rent a 2,300-square-foot office in North Las Vegas City Hall, represents a congressional district that takes in most of northern Clark County, southern Lyon County and all of Esmeralda, Lincoln, Mineral, Nye and White Pine counties.
“I believe the deciding factor will be if I’m far along enough on the commitment I made to create jobs for our residents in North Las Vegas,” said Lee, adding that he will not announce his plans until after the new year. “If there are people who can carry my 10-year plan forward without me, then I would consider taking on another position.”
Three candidates have declared their intentions to run for the seat Kihuen will leave behind after just one term in the House. First-time candidate Amy Vilela is in on the Democratic side. Las Vegas City Councilman Stavros Anthony and Jeff Miller, who last year finished fourth in the six-candidate primary for the 1st Congressional District, are Republicans in the race.