LAS VEGAS (AP) - Sen. Harry Reid's surprise announcement that he will retire at the end of his term throws the state into a frenzy about who might replace the man who rose from small town Searchlight, Nevada to wielding national influence.
The longtime Democratic leader didn't hesitate in immediately backing former Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto to run for his seat in 2016.
Cortez Masto did not immediately respond to messages at her office at the Nevada System of Higher Education where she is executive vice chancellor. An aid at her office says she was in meetings and unavailable for comment.
There's been no lack of speculation that popular Republican Governor Brian Sandoval may run but he says his focus is laser-trained on passing a budget and improving education in Nevada.