Liberal Congresswoman Announces Bid for Ensign Seat in Senate

Congresswoman Shelley Berkley will run for the U.S. Senate seat now held by Nevada Republican John Ensign.

Berkley's campaign released a statement Thursday in Washington putting the seven-term Democrat from Las Vegas in a race against northern Nevada GOP Congressman Dean Heller.

Berkley and Heller each easily won re-election in November, and have been considered front-runners to replace Ensign since he announced in March that he won't seek a third term. A Democratic lawyer, Byron Georgiou, is also in the race.

Berkley's 60 and a liberal Democrat. She's a former state assemblywoman elected in 1999 to a congressional seat formerly held by Ensign.

Berkley has tried in recent months to extend unemployment benefits and provide relief for struggling homeowners in a state with the nation's highest jobless and foreclosure rates.