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Nevada Senate Democrats set campaign leadership for 2018 elections

Updated January 8, 2018 - 9:58 pm

State Senate Majority Leader Aaron Ford on Monday named state Sen. Kelvin Atkinson as the Senate Democratic Caucus’ campaign chair for Nevada’s 2018 election cycle, the caucus announced.

Atkinson named state Sens. Mo Denis and Nicole Cannizzaro, both Las Vegas Democrats, as co-vice campaign chairs, according to the release.

“I am excited to be heading up our efforts to maintain and expand our majority in the Nevada state Senate,” Atkinson, D-Las Vegas, said in a statement. “Our caucus has maintained a strategic, professional campaign operation for many years, which enabled us to take back the majority last cycle. I look forward to carrying that torch forward in 2018.”

Atkinson will be tasked with finding candidates and leading fundraising in the effort to defend the majority Democrats won in the state Senate in 2016. Democrats hold a 12-9 majority in the Legislature’s upper chamber when Sen. Patricia Farley, I-Las Vegas, who caucused with the party in 2017, is included.

Farley, who was elected as a Republican before switching to independent midterm, is not running for re-election. The four seats held by Democrats who are up for re-election in 2018 are considered mostly safe, partly because Democratic have a voter registration advantage in the districts.But Democrats may also have to hold off a pair of recall elections targeting Cannizzaro and state Sen. Joyce Woodhouse, D-Henderson, either of which could put the Democratic candidate at risk.

Spokesman Jeremy Hughes said Senate Minority Leader Michael Roberson, R-Las Vegas, will lead the Senate Republican Caucus’ campaign efforts.

Contact Colton Lochhead at clochhead@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4638. Follow @ColtonLochhead on Twitter.

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