WASHINGTON — State Sen. Dina Titus has chosen not to interrupt her campaign for Congress, and will skip the Democratic National Convention in Denver, an aide said Monday.
The candidate for the 3rd Congressional District seat in the House "is going to stay in the district. She decided she could get a lot done here," spokesman Andrew Stoddard said.
Democrats are meeting from Aug. 25-28.
Incumbent Republican Rep. Jon Porter has already said he will not attend his party’s national convention in St. Paul, Minn., from Sept. 1-4.
The Porter-Titus contest is among the most closely watched House races in the nation. The district once was evenly divided between the parties, but Democrats have gained a 25,000-head lead in registered voters.
The district includes Henderson, Boulder City, Laughlin, parts of Summerlin and portions of Clark County east of Las Vegas.
While the Democrats’ main order of business in Denver will be to formally nominate Barack Obama for the presidency, conventions usually also offer chances for down-ticket Democrats to network.
But Titus would be wasting her time if she went to Denver, according to Mark Peplowski, a political science professor at the College of Southern Nevada.
"Dina and Jon don’t need exposure among the rank and file" who will be at the conventions, Peplowski said.
"They are both working on the independent voters who will make all the difference in that race, and there aren’t going to be many independents in Denver and St. Paul," he said.
Meanwhile, former university regent Jill Derby, the Democratic challenger in the 2nd Congressional District, plans to attend only the first two days of the convention, spokeswoman Kristen Cullen said.
Derby plans to meet with labor leaders and take part in an event sponsored by Emily’s List, the political action committee that works to elect women to Congress.
Meeting with operatives in Denver "saves her a trip to Washington," Cullen said. "But she doesn’t want to dedicate too much time there. She wants to spend time campaigning."
Like Porter, Rep. Dean Heller is skipping the Republican National Convention in St. Paul in favor of campaigning in the Northern Nevada-based district.
Contact Stephens Washington Bureau Chief Steve Tetreault at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-783-1760.