Born and raised in Las Vegas, Catherine Cortez Masto has spent her career fighting for Nevada’s working families. She served two terms as Attorney General of Nevada and, in November 2016, became the first Latina and the first woman from Nevada ever elected to the United States Senate.
During her time as Nevada’s top prosecutor, Cortez Masto became well known as an advocate for seniors, women, and children. She worked closely with local law enforcement to keep Nevada’s communities safe. She also created a senior protection unit to safeguard older Nevadans from identity theft, exploitation, and abuse.
Cortez Masto led the push to break up sex trafficking rings throughout the state. She partnered with community advocates to give first responders the tools they need to identify and intervene in trafficking incidents. She also helped to pass a law to make sex trafficking a crime at the state level, an achievement that allowed state and local officials to share resources and information with federal prosecutors.
To help middle-class families recover from the housing crisis, Cortez Masto created the Mortgage Fraud Strike Force to investigate and prosecute lending scams. She led the fight to hold the big banks accountable for their role in the housing collapse and secured a $1.9 billion settlement for Nevada homeowners.
Now as a member of the United States Senate, Cortez Masto has taken her fight for working Nevadans to Washington, D.C.
Her position on six Senate Committees allows her to continue to advocate for Nevadans at the intersection of issues that matter most. She sits on the Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs; the Committee on Energy and Natural Resources; the Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation; the Committee on Rules and Administration; the Committee on Indian Affairs; and the Special Committee on Aging.
Cortez Masto is working to repair our broken immigration system and protect hardworking families. She is a co-sponsor of the DREAM Act of 2017, which would allow hard-working young people to come out of the shadows and fulfill their potential in our communities, and a fervent supporter of comprehensive immigration reform.
Cortez Masto remains a strong advocate for women and children and is working to pass legislation, the Save Women’s Preventive Care Act, that would guarantee coverage for preventive health care services, like breast cancer screenings, birth control, and domestic violence intervention support. She has also co-sponsored the Code Like a Girl Act, which would create two National Science Foundation (NSF) grant programs to encourage young girls to pursue computer science.
Cortez Masto believes that all Americans have the right to affordable, accessible health care. In response to provider shortages in rural communities, Cortez Masto co-sponsored the Marketplace Certainty Act to stabilize the healthcare markets and prevent insurers from leaving rural counties.
Combatting human trafficking was one of Cortez Masto’s top priorities as Attorney General of Nevada, and it remains one of her top priorities as a United States Senator. In January, she co-sponsored the Trafficking Survivors Relief Act, a bipartisan bill that would clear the criminal records of survivors of human trafficking. Cortez Masto is also a cosponsor of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) and the Abolish Human Trafficking Act.
An avid hiker and nature-lover, Cortez Masto is committed to protecting our environment and public lands for future generations to enjoy. She is the co-sponsor of the Clean Energy for America Act, a bill that would measurably reduce carbon pollution over the next decade through a series of incentives for clean energy and the promotion of new technologies in the private sector.
Prior to her service as Attorney General, Cortez Masto served as Chief of Staff to Governor Bob Miller. She has also worked as an Assistant County Manager in Clark County and as a federal criminal prosecutor in the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Washington D.C.
Cortez Masto earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration in Finance from the University of Nevada, Reno in 1986, and a J.D. from Gonzaga University School of Law in 1990. She currently resides in Las Vegas with her husband Paul.