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Richard Ziser (R)
Date Of Birth & Birthplace: 6/7/1953 (Pomona, CA)
Race: White
Religion: Christian
Residence: Las Vegas, NV
Education: BS in Industrial Engineering from California State Polytechnic University, Pomona, CA; MA in Christian Apologetics from Simon Greenleaf University, Santa Ana, CA
Occupation: Real Estate Investor
Office Type: U.S. Senate -- Nevada 

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Richard Ziser was born in Pomona, Calif., and lives in Las Vegas. He received a bachelor's degree engineering in 1976 at California State Polytechnic University in Pomona and a master's degree in 1988 at Simon Greenleaf University, a Christian-oriented school in Anaheim, Calif.

Ziser took over his father's tool and dye equipment firm in 1977 and later converted it into a private minting company. He stayed on with successor companies, including Casino Tokens Inc. which he moved to Las Vegas in 1989, supplying slot machine tokens for casinos and also producing custom-minted products. He sold the business in 1993 and has since been managing his investment portfolio.

He also has been involved in various church-related and civic activities, including the chairmanship of the Coalition for the Protection of Marriage which successfully pushed for anti-gay marriage wording in the Nevada Constitution.

Ziser and his wife, Sandi, have three children.

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Richard Ziser became active in Nevada politics in 2000, when he served as chairman of the Coalition for the Protection of Marriage, which sought to amend the Nevada Constitution to define marriage as only between a man and a woman.

Voters approved the proposal by a 70-30 percent margin in 2000 and again in 2002 by a 67-33 percent margin. Backers say the constitutional provision was needed to protect Nevada from having to honor civil unions of gay couples in other states, which critics said it amounted to anti-gay bigotry.

The group raised about $2 million in its successful efforts to amend the constitution.

Ziser's U.S. Senate bid is his first race for elective office. He won his four-way Republican primary by a nearly 2-1 margin over his closest rival, getting 34 percent of the ballots cast.

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