Dina Titus

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Dina Titus
Dina Titus official photo.jpg
Member of the
U.S. House of Representatives
from Nevada
Assumed office
January 3, 2013
Preceded byShelley Berkley
Constituency1st district
In office
January 3, 2009 – January 3, 2011
Preceded byJon Porter
Succeeded byJoe Heck
Constituency3rd district
Member of the Nevada Senate
from the 7th district
In office
1988–2008
Preceded byHerbert Jones
Succeeded byDavid Parks
Personal details
Born
Alice Constandina Titus

(1950-05-23) May 23, 1950 (age 71)
Thomasville, Georgia, U.S.
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)
Thomas Wright
(m. 1979)
EducationCollege of William & Mary (BA)
University of Georgia (MA)
Florida State University (PhD)
WebsiteHouse website

Alice Costandina Titus (born May 23, 1950) is an American politician who has been the United States Representative for Nevada's 1st congressional district since 2013. She served as U.S. Representative for Nevada's 3rd congressional district from 2009 to 2011, when she was defeated by Joe Heck. Titus is a member of the Democratic Party. She served in the Nevada Senate and was its minority leader from 1993 to 2009. Before her election to Congress, Titus was a professor of political science at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV), where she taught American and Nevada government for 30 years.

Early life and education[edit]

Titus was born in Thomasville, Georgia. Her mother is of Greek descent,[1] and she was raised Greek Orthodox. She grew up in Tifton, Georgia. Her first exposure to politics came at an early age, when her father, Joe Titus, ran for the Tifton City Council. Her uncle, Theo Titus, served in the Georgia House of Representatives for many years.[2] She attended a summer program at The College of William & Mary and was admitted full-time for the fall without a high school diploma. There she earned her bachelor's degree in political science. Titus went on to earn a master's degree from the University of Georgia and a Ph.D. from Florida State University.[2]

Academic career[edit]

After a year teaching at North Texas State University, Titus moved to Nevada for a faculty position in the political science department at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV).[citation needed]

Nevada Senate[edit]

Titus in 2009

First elected in 1988, Titus served for 20 years in the Nevada Senate, representing the 7th district.

In December 2010, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid appointed her to a six-year term on the United States Commission on Civil Rights.[3]

Regulation of credit card rates[edit]

Titus authored a bill banning "universal default clauses" that have enabled some credit card issuers to boost interest rates by 30% or more. The bill passed the Senate and Assembly, but was vetoed by Gibbons. Credit card providers Citibank and Chase rolled back or eliminated universal default clauses due to political pressure in the U.S. Congress.[4]

Measure to care for pets in emergencies[edit]

Titus authored a bill that provides for the rescue of pets in a natural disaster emergency. It was co-sponsored by Senators Randolph Townsend and Valerie Wiener. Titus told Las Vegas television station KVBC: "We all remember heartbreaking scenes and stories from Louisiana, Mississippi and Florida.. When lives are turned upside down by disaster, people seek comfort and normalcy. To exacerbate problems by forcing a disaster victim to leave behind a beloved pet—a member of their family—is both unconscionable and entirely unnecessary. Emergency responders can and should take into account pets and service animals in disaster rescue and recovery plans. Planning could save disaster victims from needless additional pain at a most difficult time."[5] The bill was signed into law in June 2007.

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Elections[edit]

2008[edit]

Democrats were heavily targeting 3rd district Republican incumbent Jon Porter. Their top candidate was Clark County prosecutor Robert Daskas, but Daskas dropped out in April for family reasons. Democrats then recruited Titus, who had won the district in her unsuccessful 2006 run for governor. Titus defeated Porter in November, 47% to 42%, becoming the first Democrat to represent the district. She was a major beneficiary of the overall anti-Bush sentiment in the Las Vegas area. She was elected Regional Whip in the 111th Congress.[6]

2010[edit]

Republican former State Senator Joe Heck defeated Titus by less than 2,000 votes.

2012[edit]

On October 31, 2011, Titus entered the Democratic primary for Nevada's 1st congressional district, where her home had been placed by redistricting. The incumbent, fellow Democrat Shelley Berkley, gave up the seat to run for the United States Senate. While the 3rd is considered a swing district, the 1st is far and away the safest Democratic seat in Nevada.[7] She initially faced a challenge from State Senator Ruben Kihuen in the primary. Kihuen dropped out in February 2012, reportedly due to trailing in polls and fundraising.[8] This all but assured Titus's return to Congress after a two-year absence. She easily defeated her Republican challenger, Chris Edwards.

Tenure[edit]

On December 18, 2019, Titus voted for both articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.[9]

Committee assignments[edit]

Dina Titus in Las Vegas, November 2008

Past[edit]

Caucus memberships[edit]

Political positions[edit]

Nuclear issues[edit]

Titus is the author of Bombs in the Backyard: Atomic Testing and American Politics[14] and Battle Born: Federal-State Relations in Nevada During the Twentieth Century.[15]

Abortion[edit]

In 2014 Titus received a 100% rating from Planned Parenthood for opposing a nationwide abortion ban after 20 weeks and supporting abortion access in the District of Columbia and through the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.[16][better source needed]

Armenia–Azerbaijan war[edit]

In September 2020, Titus started a successful petition to rename a Library of Congress heading from "Armenian massacres" to "Armenian genocide" in the wake of Armenian genocide recognition by the United States Congress in 2019.[17][18]

On October 1, 2020, Titus co-signed a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo that condemned Azerbaijan’s offensive operations against the Armenian-populated enclave of Nagorno-Karabakh, denounced Turkey’s role in the Nagorno-Karabakh conflict, and called for an immediate ceasefire.[19]

Political campaigns[edit]

Titus at the 2008 Nevada Democratic State Convention

2006[edit]

Incumbent Governor Kenny Guinn could not run in 2006 due to term limits. Titus won the Democratic nomination, but lost to Republican Congressman Jim Gibbons. Titus won Clark County, but her margin there was not enough to overcome Gibbons's landslide margin in the 2nd district.

Personal life[edit]

Titus has been married to Thomas C. Wright since 1979. Wright is a retired professor of history at UNLV. His studies inLatin American history have taken the couple on extended journeys throughout Central and South America and to Spain.[20]

She is of the Greek Orthodox faith.[citation needed]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Hellenic Leadership | U.S. Congresswoman Dina Titus".
  2. ^ a b "About Dina Titus". Elect Dina Titus for U.S. Congress. Retrieved October 8, 2011.
  3. ^ Demirjian, Karoun (December 3, 2010). "Harry Reid names Dina Titus to U.S. Commission on Civil Rights". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved October 8, 2011.
  4. ^ Fehd, Amanda (17 May 2007). "Bill targeting high credit card rates goes to governor". Nevada Appeal. Retrieved 11 October 2011.
  5. ^ Dina Titus introduces measure to care for pets.
  6. ^ Usufzy, Pashtana (December 1, 2008). "Titus appointed regional whip". Rebel Yell. Archived from the original on November 18, 2011. Retrieved October 8, 2011.
  7. ^ Myers, Laura (October 31, 2011). "Titus to announce new bid for Congress". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved November 2, 2011.
  8. ^ "Kihuen out in 1st Congressional District". February 7, 2012. Archived from the original on February 1, 2013.
  9. ^ "WHIP COUNT: Here's which members of the House voted for and against impeaching Trump".
  10. ^ DeFazio, Peter. "Chairman DeFazio Announces Subcommittee Chairs for the 116th Congress". Archived from the original on 26 January 2019. Retrieved 15 February 2019.
  11. ^ "Membership". Congressional Arts Caucus. Archived from the original on 12 June 2018. Retrieved 13 March 2018.
  12. ^ "Our Members". U.S. House of Representatives International Conservation Caucus. Archived from the original on 1 August 2018. Retrieved 5 August 2018.
  13. ^ "Members". U.S. – Japan Caucus. Retrieved 9 January 2019.
  14. ^ Titus, A. Constandina (2001-02-01). Bombs In The Backyard: Atomic Testing And American Politics (2nd ed.). Reno: University of Nevada Press. ISBN 9780874173703.
  15. ^ Titus, D. (1989-06-01). Titus, A. Costandina (ed.). Battle Born. Dubuque, Iowa: Kendall Hunt Pub Co. ISBN 9780840352873.
  16. ^ "2014 Congressional Score Card". Planned Parenthood Action Fund. Archived from the original on 14 June 2014. Retrieved 31 July 2014.
  17. ^ "Rep. Titus Leading U.S. House Drive Urging the Library of Congress to use Armenian Genocide Subject Heading". Armenian National Committee of America. Retrieved 30 October 2020.
  18. ^ "BREAKING: Library of Congress Corrects "Armenian Massacres" Subject Heading to "Armenian Genocide"". The Armenian Weekly. 21 October 2020. Retrieved 30 October 2020.
  19. ^ "Senate and House Leaders to Secretary of State Pompeo: Cut Military Aid to Azerbaijan; Sanction Turkey for Ongoing Attacks Against Armenia and Artsakh". The Armenian Weekly. October 2, 2020.
  20. ^ Goldberg, Delen (June 23, 2011). "Dina Titus retires from UNLV with $162,000 buyout". Las Vegas Sun. Retrieved October 8, 2011.

External links[edit]

Party political offices
Preceded by
Joe Neal
Democratic nominee for Governor of Nevada
2006
Succeeded by
Rory Reid
U.S. House of Representatives
Preceded by
Jon Porter
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Nevada's 3rd congressional district

2009–2011
Succeeded by
Joe Heck
Preceded by
Shelley Berkley
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Nevada's 1st congressional district

2013–present
Incumbent
U.S. order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Donald Payne
United States representatives by seniority
160th
Succeeded by
Andy Barr