Republican Assemblyman Ty Cobb of Reno hailed his anti-tax conservatism in announcing his candidacy for the Nevada state Senate seat being vacated by Sen. Randolph Townsend because of term limits.

In a written statement Thursday, Cobb took issue with what he called attacks by "special interests in Carson City" for his opposition to nearly $1 billion in tax increases passed by the 2009 Legislature that came after lawmakers cut spending by a similar amount.

"I think government needs to act more like our private businesses, our private families, and that's what I intend to do in the state senate."

The tax package was vetoed by Gov. Jim Gibbons but upheld by lawmakers after Senate Minority Leader Bill Raggio rallied enough Republican support for an override.

Former journalist Ben Kieckhefer also has said he will seek the GOP nomination. Kieckhefer has been endorsed by the Republican caucus.

(Copyright 2009 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)