The U.S. Capitol Building on April 1, 2017. (Courtesy/Jeff Slinker under Creative Commons)

Former KLAS-TV consumer reporter Michelle Mortensen announced this morning she is launching a bid for Nevada’s swingiest congressional district, throwing her hat into the ring in what is already shaping up to be a fierce Republican primary.

Mortensen, who announced her departure from the television station on Friday, said in a statement uploaded to Facebook that she walked away from her television career to “take a stand” and run for Nevada’s 3rd Congressional District because she was “fed up with the liberal media attacking conservatives and conservative values.” Mortensen worked in television for 18 years, including six years at KLAS-TV where she won several Emmys in consumer reporting and journalistic enterprise.

“I am tired of dysfunction in Washington,” Mortensen said in the statement. “I am tired of politicians giving us meaningless soundbites and offering promises of hope and change but delivering nothing. We can no longer allow our representatives in Washington to fail when it comes to fixing healthcare, securing our borders, cutting taxes and reducing government spending.”

The former television reporter, who has never run for public office before, joins an already crowded field of Republican candidates, including state Sen. Scott Hammond, former Assemblywoman Victoria Seaman and former Clark County Republican Party chair Dave McKeon. Philanthropist and former congressional candidate Susie Lee is the only major Democratic candidate to announce a bid for the seat.

At KLAS-TV, Mortensen ran the “On Your Side” consumer division where she answered consumer questions live on the station’s newscast. According to the station, the division has saved or refunded $1.3 million to Southern Nevadans.

Mortensen teased her announcement on Friday when she announced her departure from the television station, promising to make a “big announcement soon.”

“It’s been my honor to be on your side! Fighting for you is all I will ever do!” Mortensen tweeted on Friday. “The best is yet to come. Big announcement soon!”

The statement accompanying Mortensen’s announcement did not detail any of her policy positions nor does her campaign website. However, recent Facebook posts detail her frustration with government “red tape” and her support for gun rights.

In the wake of the October 1 shooting, Mortensen wrote in a Facebook comment that she supports “the rights of all Americans,” noting that “gun ownership is a right.”

“I just also support the rights of all Americans and at the moment … and since our inception … gun ownership is a right. And because we are a free country we generally do not tell people how much of something they can own. It certainly is a topic we as a country can discuss … and I want people to express their opinions and share their stories … I just want it all to be respectful,” Mortensen wrote in a comment on her Facebook page.

Neither Mortensen nor a campaign operative could be immediately reached for further information about her candidacy Wednesday morning.

Mortensen attended Southern Methodist University where she received her bachelor’s degree in broadcast journalism and political science.

INDY FAST FACTS Victoria Seaman Job: Business broker Party: Republican In current office: None Birthdate: October 19, 1958 Education: College of Southern Nevada (A.A.) Public offices held: Assemblywoman, District 34 (2014-2016) Total donations: $778,495 (11/20/11-12/31/17) Top donors: Victoria Seaman $73,081 Las Vegas Sands Corp $30,000 Ahern Rentals $22,500 Keystone Corp $18,000 Bill and Cynthia Brady $15,000
INDY FAST FACTS Michelle Mortensen Job: Former television reporter Party: Republican In current office: None Birthdate: February 8, 1977 Other public offices held: None Total donations: $81,083 (10/1/17-12/31/17) Top donors: Wynn Resorts $10,800 ICL Systems $10,500 MGM Resorts $10,000 A Wilsey Properties $5,400 Broidy Capital $5,400 Last report: 12/31/17 Source: Center for Responsive Politics
INDY FAST FACTS Scott Hammond Job: State senator, District 18 Party: Republican In current office: 2012-present Birthdate:  December 20, 1966 Education: University of Nevada, Las Vegas (B.A., M.A.) Other public offices held: Assemblyman, District 13 (2010-2012) Total donations: $804,734 (2011-2017) Top donors: Las Vegas Sands $30,000 MGM Resorts International $20,000 New Nevada PAC $15,000 Boyd Gaming $14,000 Nevada Subcontractors Assn PAC $12,500 Station Casinos $12,500
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