|Member of the|
U.S. House of Representatives
|Assumed office |
January 3, 2013
|Preceded by||Shelley Berkley|
January 3, 2009 – January 3, 2011
|Preceded by||Jon Porter|
|Succeeded by||Joe Heck|
|Member of the Nevada Senate|
from the 7th district
|Preceded by||Herbert Jones|
|Succeeded by||David Parks|
Alice Constandina Titus
May 23, 1950
Thomasville, Georgia, U.S.
|Education||College of William & Mary (BA)|
University of Georgia (MA)
Florida State University (PhD)
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 the 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. She was the Democratic nominee for governor of Nevada in 2006.
Titus was born in Thomasville, Georgia. Her mother is of Greek descent, 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. 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.
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).
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.
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.
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." The bill was signed into law in June 2007.
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.
Republican former State Senator Joe Heck defeated Titus by less than 2,000 votes.
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. 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. This all but assured Titus's return to Congress after a two-year absence. She easily defeated her Republican challenger, Chris Edwards.
On December 18, 2019, Titus voted for both articles of impeachment against President Donald Trump.
See also: Nuclear weapons of the United States
Titus is the author of Bombs in the Backyard: Atomic Testing and American Politics and Battle Born: Federal-State Relations in Nevada During the Twentieth Century.
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.[better source needed]
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.
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.
On December 16, 2021, Titus expressed her frustration with the process of redrawing Nevada's congressional districts to make them more electorally competitive. According to the Nevada Current, she told and AFL-CIO town hall, "I totally got fucked by the legislature on my district." She added, "I'm sorry to say it like that, but I don’t know any other way to say it." Democrats who control the state legislature in Nevada gerrymandered districts to make two swing districts stronger for Democrats. She warned that three safe seats are now in danger and at risk of turning Republican in the 2022 election.
See also: 2006 Nevada gubernatorial election
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.
Titus has been married to Thomas C. Wright since 1979. Wright is a retired professor of history at UNLV. His studies in Latin American history have taken the couple on extended journeys throughout Central and South America and to Spain.
She is of the Greek Orthodox faith.