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U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto speaks during the Nevada Democratic Party election night event at Caesars Palace in Las Vegas on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018. (Daniel Clark/The Nevada Independent)

U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto has withdrawn her name from consideration to be presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden’s running mate.

Cortez Masto, in a statement Thursday, expressed her gratitude at being considered for the vice presidential position but said that her focus is on helping Nevada through the economic crisis amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Nevada’s senior senator was one of a few women believed to be on the short list for vice president, and her predecessor, U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, had encouraged Biden to consider her for the post.

"It is an honor to be considered as a potential running mate but I have decided to withdraw my name from consideration," Cortez Masto said. "Nevada's economy is one of the hardest hit by the current crisis and I will continue to focus on getting Nevadans the support they need to get back on their feet."

Cortez Masto’s withdrawal from consideration for the position of vice president was first reported by the Associated Press.

Political observers had speculated that picking Cortez Masto as vice president might boost Biden’s standing among Latinos, who he struggled to win during the primary fight. Biden lost Latinos by 33 points to Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in Nevada’s Democratic presidential caucus earlier this year, according to one entrance poll.

Cortez Masto has served in the U.S. Senate since 2016, when she took over for the retiring Reid, and is the first Latina to serve in that body. She is also the current head of the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, responsible for electing Democrats to the Senate.

Other likely contenders for the position include Minnesota Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and California Sen. Kamala Harris.

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