Democratic national committeewoman exploring run against Rep. Joe Heck


Democratic National Committeewoman Erin Bilbray will meet next week with Rep. Steve Israel, who leads the party's House campaign committee, to discuss running against GOP Rep. Joe Heck in Nevada's swing district.  (UPDATE: Bilbray now says meeting is first with staff a week from Friday and then following week with Israel.)

Bilbray, who will be in DC for the inauguration, confirmed the meeting with Israel.

"Steve Israel called me," she said Wednesday afternoon. "He told me, 'Senator Reid is your strongest ambassador.'"

Bilbray also said Israel informed her that Rep. Dina Titus, who used to repesent the district, called Israel to tout her candidacy against Heck, who was easily re-elected last year against ex-Speaker John Oceguera.

"I'm seriously thinking about it," she told me.

Bilbray would be the second family member to serve in Congress should she run and defeat Heck. Jim Bilbray was in the House from 1987 until 1994, when he was swept out in the Gingrich Revolution by John Ensign.

Erin Bilbray is steeped in the family business, having started a group called Emerge Nevada, which has recruited women to get involved and run. And now, it appears, she has decided it is her time to, ahem, emerge.

With the support of Titus and Reid, and her own connections, Bilbray could raise enough money to be competitive against Heck. But the incumbent has shown himself to be a formidable fundraiser and campaigner, and this surely would be one of the most watched races of the cycle by the national folks.

I have asked the DCCC, Reid and Titus for comments and will append if they arrive.

Gusheth Reid: “I have known Erin for many many years. I think she is a wonderful woman and has a wonderful family. I support her in anything she does, and if she chooses to run I believe she would make an excellent member of Congress representing Nevada.”

And Titus Chief of Staff Jay Gertsema: "Erin talked to Dina about running in the 3rd....Erin reached out to
Dina; and she is supportive of Erin's efforts."

DCCC with boiler plate: "Congressman Heck’s Tea Party Republican Congress is so dysfunctional and so out-of-touch with middle class families and women that his constituents will want a change. We’re confident that strong candidates like Erin Bilbray, who have demonstrated their commitment to the middle class, will look at the prospect of running for Congress.”