Ruben Kihuen

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This name uses Spanish naming customs: the first or paternal family name is Kihuen and the second or maternal family name is Bernal.
Ruben Kihuen
Rep. Ruben Kihuen.jpg
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Nevada's 4th district
Assumed office
January 3, 2017
Preceded by Cresent Hardy
Member of the Nevada Senate
from the 10th district
In office
Preceded by Bob Coffin
Succeeded by Yvanna Cancela
Member of the Nevada Assembly
from the 11th district
In office
Preceded by Bob McCleary
Succeeded by Olivia Diaz
Personal details
Born (1980-04-25) April 25, 1980 (age 36)
Guadalajara, Mexico
Nationality Mexican-American
Political party Democratic
Residence Las Vegas, Nevada
Website house website

Rubén Jesús Kihuen Bernal /ˈrbən ˈkwɪn/ (born April 25, 1980) is a Mexican-American politician from Nevada who is the U.S. Representative for Nevada's 4th congressional district, serving since 2017. A Democrat, he was previously a member of the Nevada Senate, representing the state's 10th district in Clark County.

Early life and education[edit]

Kihuen was born in Guadalajara, Jalisco, Mexico and moved to the United States in 1988.[1] Kihuen's father was a laborer in Orange County, California, before moving to Las Vegas in the 1990s and becoming a middle school science teacher.[1] Kihuen attended Rancho High School and was named the 1997–1998 Nevada "soccer player of the year."[1] He graduated from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas with a Bachelor of Science degree in education. While in high school and college, Kihuen volunteered for the campaigns of Senator Harry Reid, Virginia Governor Mark Warner, and Houston Mayor Lee Brown.[1] As of 2011, Kihuen was enrolled in the Master of Public Administration degree program at the University of Oklahoma.[2]

Early career[edit]

In 2002, Kihuen became a deputy field director for the Nevada Democratic Party.[1] He then served as regional representative to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.[1] He then worked as student recruiter and academic advisor for the College of Southern Nevada (CSN).[1] He is a past member of the Clark County Community Development Advisory Committee and the North Las Vegas Citizen's Advisory Committee.

Nevada legislature[edit]

First elected to the state assembly in 2006, Kihuen served two terms before successfully running for the state senate in 2010. In 2010, Kihuen was elected to the Nevada State Senate after the incumbent was term-limited. During the 76th legislative session in 2011 he was the chair of the Senate Select Committee on Economic Growth and Employment. In the 77th legislative session in 2013, he chaired the Senate Standing Committee on Revenue and Economic Development and served as Majority Whip for the Democrats in the Senate.[3]

U.S. House of Representatives[edit]

Kihuen in 2012



In September 2011, Kihuen announced his intention to run to represent Nevada's 1st congressional district[4] but withdrew a month before filing opened in February 2012[5] allowing former Representative Dina Titus to run without a contested primary.


On March 28, 2015, Kihuen announced he was running for Congress in Nevada's 4th congressional district, seeking to defeat first-term incumbent Republican Cresent Hardy.[6] He defeated seven other candidates in the Democratic primary on June 14, 2016.[7] Kihuen spoke at the 2016 Democratic National Convention, the only 2016 House recruit to do so.[8] During the campaign, Kihuen was on leave from his job at the Las Vegas-based public relations firm the Ramirez Group.[9] Kihuen won the election by a vote of 128,680 (48.5%) to 118,220 (44.5%).[10]

In 2016, he was elected to serve in the House of Representatives.[10] He was sworn in on January 3, 2017, he became the first Hispanic Democrat to represent Nevada in the House of Representatives.

He is also one of the first two Nevada Hispanic Democrats to represent the state in Congress; Senator Catherine Cortez Masto was sworn in the same day.


Committee assignments[edit]

Caucus memberships[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g Jordan, Miriam (August 7, 2007). "New Kingmaker: Vegas's Mr. Kihuen Will See You Now". Wall Street Journal. Retrieved July 26, 2016. 
  2. ^ "Members of the Nevada Legislature" (PDF). Carson City, NV: Nevada Legislature. 2011. p. 26. 
  3. ^ "Details". Retrieved April 24, 2015. 
  4. ^ Karoun Demirjian. "Dina Titus being pressured not to run for 1st Congressional District seat". Retrieved April 24, 2015. 
  5. ^ Karoun Demirjian. "Ruben Kihuen drops out of CD1 race, clearing way for Dina Titus". Retrieved April 24, 2015. 
  6. ^ Myers, Laura (March 28, 2015). "Nevada Sen. Ruben Kihuen announces bid for Congress". Las Vegas Review-Journal. Retrieved April 23, 2015. 
  7. ^ Marin, Lesley (June 14, 2016). "Ruben Kihuen wins Democratic nomination for Congressional District 4". KTNV. Retrieved June 16, 2016. 
  8. ^ Pathe, Simone (July 25, 2016). "Hispanic House Recruit Gets Prominent Speaking Slot at DNC". Roll Call. Retrieved July 26, 2016. 
  9. ^ "Politically Connected PR Firm Subpoenaed in Councilman Probe". CBS. The Associated Press. September 29, 2016. Retrieved November 3, 2016. 
  10. ^ a b "Nevada U.S. House 4th District Results: Ruben Kihuen Wins". The New York Times. November 9, 2016. Retrieved November 9, 2016. 

External links[edit]

United States House of Representatives
Preceded by
Cresent Hardy
Member of the U.S. House of Representatives
from Nevada's 4th congressional district

United States order of precedence (ceremonial)
Preceded by
Ro Khanna
United States Representatives by seniority
Succeeded by
Raja Krishnamoorthi