A Reno radio talk show host and former chairman of the Washoe County Democrats who has announced plans to run against Republican Congressman Mark Amodei for Congressional District 2 spoke to local Democrats on Thursday to outline his reasons for running against the incumbent.
Chip Evans recently filed his papers with the Federal Election Committee to challenge Amodei, who has been the CD2 representative since 2011. The former Silicon Valley executive said he is focused on reaching out to voters on both sides of the political spectrum.
“Ninety percent of Americans are disgusted with our government because it doesn’t work well,” he told a dozen local Democrats at their monthly meeting. “Your current representative is one of them.”
Evans said Amodei, whom he has interviewed several times on his radio program, is one of many Republican congressmen who cast a vote when the party’s leadership tells them how to vote. Evans said he wants to be elected so he can go to Washington, D.C. and do the job.
“People of Northern Nevada have suffered greatly under the system we have,” he said. “The regular people and businessmen are taking it in the shorts.”
Evans said various groups of people have encouraged him to challenge Amodei. He said people understand that what occurs in the nation’s capital affects them every day.
“The bickering in Washington affects us all. We need to rebuild a majority Democratic House,” Evans said, discounting the naysayers who said a Democrat can’t win in the heavily-dominated Republican district. “I can tell you I can win this race. It won’t be easy. It will be a tough race.”
Evans touts his experience in working at the party level and working with the Democrats for many years. He is also hopeful that the changing landscape of people moving to Northern Nevada from other states will tilt CD2 to a left-leaning district.
As for the political atmosphere of an even year, Evans said 2016 will be important for several reasons. He said Sen. Harry Reid, who is also the Senate minority leader, is retiring and doesn’t want his legacy going to a Republican. This will be a presidential election year, and special statewide initiatives on gun checks and marijuana will be big factors in luring people to the polls.
“Another advantage I have is in Washoe County where it represents two-thirds of this district,” Evans said.
Over the years, Evans said he has been involved with many activist and diverse groups in the Reno area.
Evans, however, said he knows rural Nevada has traditionally been Republican leaning.
“I don’t feel outgunned by the Republican lifestyle out here ... people have a rugged independence,” he said.
Evans planted seeds for some of his other reasons in running for CD2. He said the Republican leadership has failed, the small person is still struggling; the current Congress has made it more difficult for veterans; and seniors need their Social Security benefits.
While each party has its followers supporting candidates from their base, Evans said the competition for the voters will be the people who are in the middle — the independents.
“I promise we’ll have the classiest, first-class campaign for this seat,” he said.