LAS VEGAS (AP) — A Republican business owner running for a southern Nevada congressional seat has not voted in 12 years and did not register to vote until late 2017, county records show.

Lisa Song Sutton, 35, said she was busy focusing on her businesses and community work, including her stint as Miss Nevada in 2014, and wasn’t very politically engaged.

Sutton said in a statement that she was previously registered in Arizona and Florida when she was in college and graduate school.

“Upon finishing school, like many people, I focused on building my career and businesses,” she said in a statement.

Sutton likened herself to many Nevadans who are eligible to vote but did not register or who are registered to vote but choose not to cast ballots.

“I have come to the realization that private sector individuals must come off the sidelines if we truly want to help our communities,” Sutton said. “Many of my supporters are engaging in politics for the very first time.”

Sutton later said in an interview Friday with The Associated Press that the last election she voted in was in 2008, as a Republican. She noted that when she announced her candidacy in an online video, she said, “I haven't always voted.”

She moved to Nevada and Las Vegas in 2010, but did not register to vote in Clark County until December 2017, Clark County voting records show.

Sutton said she registered in 2017 after volunteering with the Asian Community Development Council, which registered her to vote as part of its civic engagement outreach.

Sutton’s businesses include a bakery, a shipping store, a lingerie store and a real estate brokerage.

Sutton's voting record was first reported by The Nevada Independent.

Sutton is running in a eight-candidate GOP primary for Nevada's 4th congressional seat, currently held by Democrat Steven Horsford, the includes areas of Las Vegas and wide stretches of desert and rural towns.