LAS VEGAS -- Former Nevada State Senator Sue Lowden is throwing her hat into the race for lieutenant governor.
The Republican race now has two names with today's announcement from casino owner and former state Senator Lowden. The other candidate is state Senator Mark Hutchison who has already been endorsed by Governor Brian Sandoval.
Lowden announced her bid Wednesday morning, saying she'd make the part-time position her full-time job if elected.
She gained the eyes of the nation when it looked certain she would face Harry Reid in the 2010 U.S. Senate race. But in an upset felt around the country, Lowden lost the Republican nomination to Sharron Angle. Lowden kept those political contacts gained in her last statewide campaign and will now campaign to lead Governor Sandoval's economic and tourism pushes as lieutenant governor.
"I think I bring a feeling of what it's really like to run a business. I think that I understand how cumbersome it can be to start a business and to continue it, especially in these tough economic times," Lowden said.
She owns a Laughlin casino and leads a gaming and investment company. Most of the time, Nevada's lieutenant governor is a tourism and business outreach ambassador.
"I've been in the tourism industry for three decades. I have rolled up my sleeves for that amount of time and been frankly all over the world promoting Las Vegas," she said.
During the legislative session, the lieutenant governor effectively plays traffic cop for the state senate, pushing them to get their business done before deadline. As a former state senator herself, Lowden believes she's up to the task.
"I think having the confidence and knowing what could be done and having the experience to move things along. I think people are sometimes intimidated by the process," Lowden said.
If Governor Sandoval decides to run for U.S. Senate in 2016 and wins, whoever Nevada voters pick in 2014 for lieutenant governor would lead the state. So, while the lieutenant governor's race doesn't get the same attention other Nevada political campaigns get, this time the stakes could be high enough to get more voter's to notice.