Derby files against Heller

Saying Dean Heller failed to keep his promise he would be independent and vote for change, Jill Derby on Tuesday filed candidate papers challenging the Republican freshman in congressional district 2.

Derby, former head of the Nevada Democratic Party, said Heller voted more than 90 percent "in lockstep with the Bush Administration" in 2007.

Although she lost to Heller in 2006, Derby said her chances are helped by the changing make-up of the district, which covers nearly all of rural and western Nevada. Where Republicans had a 48,000 vote advantage in the 2006 election, she said they now have just 30,000 more registered voters.

Derby lost the 2006 contest by fewer than 13,000 votes.

She said the big issue is Heller's record in Congress.

"There's a record he has now that really reflects being a Bush clone," she said.

She said that includes votes against funding to make prescription drugs more affordable for seniors and against health care funding for the children of those who can't get coverage from their employers.

Derby said that record is despite the fact that more than 80 percent of Americans in national polls believe the nation is on the wrong track and needs to change direction.

With his record, Derby said, Heller can't claim he is the one to make that change.

"The only way to change Washington is to change the people we send to Washington," she said.

Heller recently announced his newest legislation to ban states from printing ballots in languages other than English. Derby said she has long favored English as the national language: "It's really the glue that holds us together."

But she said what to put on the ballots should be up to the states, not the federal government, and she opposes Heller's legislation.

Before her first run for Congress two years ago, Derby served 18 years on the Board of Regents. She and her husband of 35 years, veterinarian Steve Talbot, live in Douglas County.

In addition, Nevada Senate Minority Leader Dina Titus, D-Las Vegas, filed to run against Republican Rep. Jon Porter.

Titus, who has served in Nevada's Senate 20 years, said she believes in focusing on the issues, such as renewable energy sources in Nevada "instead of giving the tax breaks to big oil companies that Jon Porter has supported."

She also said the U.S. is now spending $5,000 a second in Iraq - "money that could be used for families that need it here at home."

Political observers say Titus has a fair chance to unseat the incumbent Porter because the district, which was evenly split between the two major parties in 2006, now has a nearly 23,000 vote Democrat advantage.

Barbara Myers of Carson City filed for a third term on the state Board of Education.

Myers is a speech pathologist working for the Lyon County School District,

And Glen Dawson of Sparks filed, becoming the fourth Republican to challenge veteran Assemblyman John Marvel of Battle Mountain in District 32. There is also an Independent American in that race: James Kroshus who, two years ago, ran for the House of Representatives.

• Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at gdornan@nevadaappeal.com or 687-8750.

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