For the past eight months, Mark Hutchinson has been on the campaign trail.
The Las Vegas republican, bidding for the lieutenant governor seat, made his way through Fallon on Friday to speak at the Lahontan Republican Women’s Lunch at the Old Post Office.
Beforehand, Hutchinson sat with the LVN to discuss his campaign and issues facing the state and Churchill County.
Hutchinson officially filed for his candidacy Monday.
“I grew up in a very blue-collar, hard-working family,” Hutchinson said.
Hutchinson’s ride into politics came after President Obama signed the Affordable Healthcare Act in 2010 and 14 states sued the federal government. The Las Vegas lawyer, who graduated from BYU law school in 1990, was appointed by Gov. Jim Gibbons after the attorney general did not join the lawsuit.
Gibbons found Hutchinson, who was then reaffirmed by Gov. Brian Sandoval two years later and fought the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.
“The federal government is woefully broken and completely out of control,” Hutchinson said. “I’m very concerned our system government is not being adhered to as set forth in the constitution. I have a real concern about whether the checks and balances are even working now.”
As a result, Hutchinson developed a drive to battle against the federal government and protect states’ rights. In addition, he believes the states can government themselves more effectively and efficiently than the federal government.
Hutchinson was elected in 2012 to the seat in District 6 of the Nevada state Senate and has thrown his hat in the ring for the lieutenant governor’s seat. He is expected to face Sue Lowden, who lost her U.S. Senate bid in 2010.
“I ran for it (state senate) because I was so passionate about it this whole issue of preserving our state government,” he added. “I worked with him (Sandoval) to fight ObamaCare. He has endorsed me and is supporting me. That’s what leads me to state government and the lieutenant governor’s position.”
The position is the president of the state senate, board of economic development, vice-chairman of board of transportation and chairman of commission on tourism.
“I am very committed to strengthening our traditional businesses and industries including gaming, mining, tourism and agriculture,” Hutchinson said.
He spoke about how unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV) and how the Silver State’s selection to test drones is a “game changer.” He said the program is expected to generate up to $10 billion economic development for the state in 10 years and create 10,000-16,000 jobs.
As for Churchill County, geothermal revenue is a pressing concern for the county and its ability to collect the tax revenue instead of losing millions to the federal government and state.
“I am a strong proponent of ensuring that those revenues continue to flow into the county,” Hutchinson said, “and we don’t provide unreasonable tax abatements that would not allow those tax revenues to flow. We made sure the tax policy would not hurt communities like Fallon.”
In addition, Hutchinson touched on dairy production in the county as well as the Dairy Farmers of America dry milk plant scheduled to open this month.
“I think we ought to build on this,” Hutchinson said. “I think we should make Fallon and the surrounding areas just a magnet for these kind of dairy opportunities. As I have spoken with experts, they say there is such a demand for this that we could have many more production facilities in Fallon and elsewhere. I think we should make a concerted effort to make a cluster of dairy farms and dairy production facilities around Fallon.”