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Ellen Spiegel joins race for secretary of state

Former Democratic Assemblywoman Ellen Spiegel, D-Las Vegas, has joined the race for Nevada secretary of state, bringing to five the number of announced candidates hoping to succeed termed-out incumbent Republican Barbara Cegavske.

Setting forth her candidacy in a statement Wednesday, Spiegel, who lost her bid for a state Senate seat last year in a three-way Democratic primary, said “voting rights and our way of life are under attack.” The secretary of state is the state’s chief elections officer.

“I realize the word ‘fighting’ is likely the most overused word in politics,” Spiegel said in her announcement. “That said, anyone running for any Secretary of State office in any state in the U.S. better be ready for a fight.”

Republican-controlled states in the aftermath of the 2020 election have passed tighter controls and limits on voting, citing unproved and refuted claims of ballot box fraud. State and local elections officials of both parties also have been threatened, with some receiving extra security protection.

Nevada, controlled by Democrats, expanded access to the ballot in 2020 amid the COVID-19 pandemic, enacting changes such as universal mail-in balloting that were permanent this year.

Beyond safeguarding voting rights, Spiegel cited commitments to issues including women’s reproductive health, public education, fighting climate change, LGBTQ rights, economic equality and better health care access.

A Henderson resident, she owns a consulting firm with her husband. She cited backing for her candidacy from state Sen. Dina Neal, D-North Las Vegas, state Controller Catherine Byrne and Nevada NOW President Jeri Burton.

Attorney, former state Athletic Commission chair and onetime Harry Reid staffer Cisco Aguilar is also seeking the office as a Democrat. Three Republican candidates have announced: former Assemblyman Jim Marchant, R-Las Vegas, Sparks City Councilman Kristopher Dahir and former KSNV Channel 3 anchor Gerard Ramalho.

Contact Capital Bureau reporter Bill Dentzer at bdentzer@reviewjournal.com. Follow @DentzerNews on Twitter.

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