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Treasurer Dan Schwartz leaves the Elko Veterans of Foreign Wars post on Dec. 14, 2017. Photo by David Calvert.

Former state treasurer and gubernatorial candidate Dan Schwartz, a Republican, is mulling a bid for Nevada’s 3rd Congressional District.

Schwartz told The Nevada Independent in a brief phone interview Friday that he is “pretty serious” about throwing his hat in the race for the seat held by Democrat Susie Lee and has “a couple of good endorsements locally in Las Vegas,” though he declined to specify who is supporting him. He plans to decide whether to officially announce a campaign by July 1.

“No official announcement yet, but we’re getting warmed up,” Schwartz said. “I want to have a final sort of Starbucks and cold shower before I do it because it’s a commitment.”

If he runs, Schwartz said that he would self-fund “a good portion” of his campaign. Schwartz, a businessman who has worked in finance and financial publishing, pumped nearly $650,000, primarily in loans, into his 2018 Republican primary campaign, a race he ultimately lost by 65.2 percentage points to former Attorney General Adam Laxalt.

“I’m not going to buy the election, but I’ve been willing to do that before and there’s no reason why I wouldn’t do it here,” Schwartz said.

The former treasurer said that he’s had “pretty positive” reactions in his meetings in Washington, D.C. and is “encouraged.”

“I just want to make sure that — in spite of the governor’s race — I’m not a kamikaze candidate so I want to make sure we can win it,” Schwartz said.

He also said that there’s an “emotional component” to deciding whether to officially run.

“I want to feel comfortable that I have support from donors, I’ve got support from some of the people who are in the political area in Clark, in CD3. I want to make sure that we’ve got a good campaign, we have a good message, we’ve got to hire the right people,” Schwartz said. “This is a major enterprise. I think a lot of people just wake up one morning and say, ‘I’m going to run for Congress,’ and then they figure out how to do that.”

As far as the prospect of facing Lee, who won the seat in 2018 against Republican businessman Danny Tarkanian by 9.1 percentage points, Schwartz acknowledges that “it’s going to be a pretty tough race.” Lee raised nearly half a million dollars over the first three months of the year ahead of her 2020 re-election bid.

“She’s still an incumbent and she’s pretty well financed,” Schwartz said. “So we’re going to have to run a good campaign.”

Schwartz first ran for Congress in 2012, losing the Republican primary in Nevada's 4th Congressional District to Tarkanian.

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