Mark Amodei easily won his first full term in the House of Representatives on Tuesday.He overwhelmed underfunded Democrat Sam Koepnick, Independent American Russell Best and Independent candidate Michael Haines, collecting nearly 60 percent of the vote.The Carson City Republican, Amodei, said he is hoping now that the election is done, that both the House and Senate will buckle down to try to solve some of the problems that have been stymied by the deep partisan divide in Congress.The interim between the election and the swearing in of the new Congress, he said, will be a strong indicator of whether that will happen.“It’s an opportunity for people to work together to do the right things,” Amodei said. “I’m looking forward to those near term things as a barometer of where we’re going to go.”He said he hopes that is what happens because, “I can’t imagine anything more discouraging than business as usual based on last year,” he said. “Both in terms of the national issues and in terms of Nevada issues.”He said the near term presents “some opportunities for people to take care of the policy without having to establish themselves as a political gold medalist.”Amodei said those opportunities are to do something about the sequester and so-called fiscal cliff. He said Congress also needs to deal with the extensive damage caused by Hurricane Sandy.In the West, Amodei said, it is the destruction caused by wildland fires that are destroying sage grouse habitat, increasing the danger that bird will be listed as endangered. That would have severe economic consequences for western states in not only mining and grazing but recreation on the range.Amodei said he has been told by the Bureau of Land Management that it would cost close to $25 million to fully fund restoration of the bird’s habitat in the west.“The rub will come with how are you going to pay for it,” he said referring to the list of needs.Continuation of the partisan divide, he said, “I don’t think that’s a good thing for anybody.”Amodei said the current atmosphere is “just pretty frustrating in terms of we’re supposed to be trying to do some stuff as opposed to political sport.”He said he is open to ideas that bring people together and solve problems.“I’m happy to look at what people’s ideas are,” he said.Amodei claimed the seat in a September 2011 special election called after Dean Heller was appointed to the U.S. Senate by Gov. Brian Sandoval.In Nevada’s 1st Congressional District, former Democratic U.S. Rep. Dina Titus easily won re-election, defeating the GOP’s Christopher Edwards, a former Navy officer. Republican U.S. Rep. Joe Heck has defeated challenger John Oceguera in a bitterly fought campaign for Nevada’s District 3 seat. The 51-year-old Heck was seeking a second term Tuesday against Oceguera, a 44-year-old former North Las Vegas firefighter and Democratic State Assembly speaker.In Nevada’s new 4th District in Congress, Democrat Steven Horsford defeated Republican businessman Danny Tarkanian in a bruising campaign. The 50-year-old Tarkanian was considered a longshot in his fourth run at elected office. He was pitted against a 39-year-old rising political star from North Las Vegas who was elected to the state Senate in 2004 and became Nevada’s first black majority leader in 2008. Tarkanian faced challenges including a $17 million federal court judgment last month against him and his family from a failed real estate deal. But he had the advantage of name recognition as the son of former UNLV basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian and Las Vegas City Councilwoman Lois Tarkanian. The 4th District stretches across a vast swath of central Nevada, from urban North Las Vegas to just southeast of Reno.
Article Topics: LegislatureLegislature