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State Senate Minority Leader Dina Titus (D) said Tuesday that she will decide by Thursday whether she will enter the 3rd district race against Rep. Jon Porter (R).

Titus, who turned down Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee entreaties to run earlier this cycle, is once again being courted by top party leaders after former Clark County prosecutor Robert Daskas (D) shocked Southern Nevada political watchers Monday by withdrawing from the race.

Titus said she first learned Daskas was dropping out of the race Friday afternoon when Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) called her to see whether she would consider making a run in the targeted suburban Las Vegas district.

“I thought she was calling me about the superdelegate situation because I am a superdelegate,” Titus said Tuesday. “I never dreamed it was about this race.”

Now Titus said she is “seriously considering” getting into the race, and with a May 16 filing deadline in Nevada, her decision will come quickly.

“I don’t see any point in dragging this out,” she said.

If she does decide to enter the race, Titus would have a primary race against Andrew Martin, a wealthy businessman who was already running before Daskas bowed out.

Titus, who is coming off of a losing gubernatorial bid against Jim Gibbons (R) in 2006, said she would have a lot going for her if she did decide to run against Porter, who narrowly defeated a little known Democratic challenger in the previous cycle.

“The DCCC is committed to this race and I think they will help me … I just came off a statewide race so I’ve got a lot of things in place that I wouldn’t be starting from scratch on. It’ll be a lot of work, but I’m not worried about hard work,” she said.

With Titus now clearly the favored candidate of the Democratic establishment, the National Republican Congressional Committee was working hard Tuesday to define Titus as “out of touch” with voters in Nevada.

“Dina Titus should think long and hard before launching a second long-shot campaign. Two losses in a row would be career-ending for her,” NRCC spokeswoman Julie Shutley said. “Nevada voters rejected Dina Titus in 2006 because of her liberal record for hiking taxes and giving benefits to illegal immigrants. She should think twice before launching another campaign that will surely end in defeat once again.”

— John McArdle

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