Fields begin taking shape in Nevada’s 2020 congressional contests

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Steve Marcus

Steven Horsford, Democratic candidate for Nevada’s Fourth Congressional District, campaigns with Congresswoman Dina Titus, D-Nev, during a RiseNVote rally at the Las Vegas Academy Thursday, Oct. 25, 2018.

Thu, Nov 7, 2019 (2 a.m.)

Nevadans' main focus in the political arena as the 2020 elections approach has been the field of candidates visiting the state seeking support when the state's Democratic presidential caucuses take place late February. But fields are also taking shape in Nevada's four congressional districts as the biennial elections approach 12 months from now.

Here's a quick look at the Republicans and/or Democrats who have tossed their name into the ring (and who have reported receiving at least one campaign contribution).

1st Congressional District

The 1st District, which includes Las Vegas proper and the Strip, has been represented by Democrat Dina Titus for the last six years.

As of now, Titus is the only candidate to have filed to run in the district.

“I’ve dedicated my life to education and public service, and there is still so much more work to be done to improve the lives of Southern Nevadans,” said Titus, a Las Vegas resident. “As the dean of our congressional delegation, I know how important it is for Las Vegas to get a seat at the table in Washington. In Congress, we must reverse Donald Trump’s reckless agenda and pass bills in the House that reduce income inequality, protect the environment and increase access to quality and affordable health care.”

2nd Congressional District

Rep. Mark Amodei of Carson City is the latest in a line of Republicans elected to represent the 2nd District, which stretches across Northern Nevada and includes Carson City and the Reno-Sparks metropolitan area.

Asked why he’s seeking re-election and what issues he sees as important in his district, Amodei said he was concentrating on completing his current term.

Reno resident and Democrat Clint Koble, who ran against Amodei in 2018, has filed to run in 2020 as well. On his website, outlined some of the issues he supports: universal health care, environmental protection and improving Nevada’s education system.

3rd Congressional District

The 3rd District, which takes up much of southern Clark County, including parts of Henderson, is currently represented by first-term Congresswoman Susie Lee, a Democrat.

Lee, in her quest for re-election, touts her ability to work with both congressional Democrats and Republicans.

“I have been working across the aisle in a bipartisan manner to increase funding for Nevada's public schools, bring down skyrocketing prescription drug costs, and ensure that our veterans get the care and benefits they deserve. I also want to continue to run a locally driven, constituent-focused office,” she said.

Two Las Vegas residents are seeking the Republican nomination to challenge Lee: former State Treasurer Dan Schwartz and Dan Rodimer, a former professional wrestler.

Schwartz has said in tweets that he would push back against "socialist" politicians and policies, and he cites on his campaign site general goals of reducing the national debt and instituting affordable health care policies.

On his website, Rodimer touts his work with the Clark County School District Safety Board and with small businesses.

The former wrestler is backed by former White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer but has been dogged by revelations of multiple assault accusations.

4th Congressional District

The 4th District, made up of a large swath of south and central Nevada, including North Las Vegas, currently boasts the largest field of candidates in the state.

Rep. Steven Horsford, a Las Vegas Democrat who lost reelection in 2014 only to regain the seat in 2018, is being challenged by seven Republicans:

  • Businessman and former Nevada Assemblyman Jim Marchant, Las Vegas, touts high approval scores from the American Conservative Union and the National Rifle Association. He supports measures such as Trump’s 2017 tax cuts, requiring identification at voting sites, funding school choice programs and rolling back Common Core education standards.
  • Randi Reed, North Las Vegas, is a businesswoman who owns a custom furniture business with her husband. She said that there was a disconnect between voters and politicians, and cited the burdensome regulations and mandates put on small businesses and the current state of American health care as inspiration for her to enter the race. In addition to being the mother of a young child, she has a pre-existing medical condition. "I know what it’s like to be denied coverage and face unaffordable medical bills. I’ve been forced to get a second full-time job just to be able to afford my family’s (health) plan,” she said.
  • Leo Blundo serves as a Nye County commissioner and as the county's liaison on nuclear issues. Nye County is the site of the proposed Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository, and Blundo has been one of the most outspoken local politicians in favor of federal plans to store waste there. Blundo says he is a pro-life, pro-gun rights candidate that wants to work on issues including health care and immigration. “I’m … running to help break the cycle of a do nothing Congress that would rather go on political witch hunts than tackle the issues facing us back home in Nevada,” he said.
  • Sam Peters, a Las Vegas veteran who currently owns an insurance business, positions himself as a fiscal conservative with Trumpian views on issues like immigration. Peters outlined an 11-point immigration plan on his website that includes building a border wall and ending chain migration for non-immediate family members. He says he is pro-gun rights, and that Roe v. Wade requires deeper discussion but should be enforced as “law of the land” until prevailing law exists.
  • Lisa Song Sutton, a Las Vegas businesswoman and former Miss Nevada, announced her run in July. She is a gun rights supporter and backs tougher immigration policies, which she said could include “physical barriers,” and as against “business-killing” regulations and taxation. “Politics was never in the plan, but after seeing the need in the community, and hearing from them that they're unhappy with the current representative, I knew I had to step up,” she said in a comment. “Now, more than ever, we need more young people, more small-business owners and people who are actually involved in the community to stand up as representatives.”
  • Charles Navarro is a Las Vegas veteran and former re-entry manager with Hope for Prisoners, a reintegration program for prisoners. Navarro served in the congressional offices of Rep. Cresent Hardy, a Republican who previously held the 4th Congressional District seat, and California Republican Rep. Howard McKeon.
  • Catherine Prato, a Las Vegas nurse and nursing instructor, filed in September. She has criticized government-run health care in a campaign ad and in an opinion column in the Reno Gazette-Journal.

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