LAS VEGAS — A Nevada businessman who became state treasurer two years ago said Tuesday he’ll seek the Republican nomination for governor.
Dan Schwartz, who made his announcement at a golf course in Las Vegas, focused in a statement on schools, the state economy, U.S. control of public lands and what he called “pay-to-play” influence by political lobbyists and wealthy insiders.
“Our schools remain at the bottom of every good list, at the top of every bad list,” the statement said. “Our public lands are almost exclusively controlled by the federal government; and, we still give priority to low-paying jobs at the expense of building a tech savvy economy.”
Schwartz, 67, joins Las Vegas bicycle shop businessman and political newcomer Jared Fisher in a Republican field that is expected to also include state Attorney General Adam Laxalt.
Laxalt has not made an official announcement. His campaign strategist, Rovert Uithoven, declined on Tuesday to comment about Schwartz’ declaration.
Schwartz has in the past criticized Laxalt’s links to billionaire casino mogul and GOP donor Sheldon Adelson.
Schwartz credited Republican Governor Brian Sandoval with steering the state out of the Great Recession. But Schwartz said the state economy has to be diversified and schools need to improve.
Schwartz points to his U.S. Army service on a missile base in Germany and his international business interests in Hong Kong and the U.S.
As treasurer, he said he “doubled returns on state funds,” revamped college savings programs, defended parental choice in education and spoke against tax increases and what he called “crony capitalism.”
He was an early doubter in the financial viability of an investment plan to build a $1 billion electric car manufacturing plant in southern Nevada that drew a pledge in 2015 from state lawmakers for $335 million in tax breaks and infrastructure improvements.
The company, Faraday Future, scrapped the plan earlier this year.
Schwartz’s statement asserted that measures in the state Legislature are “auctioned to the highest bidder or the insider who has hired the most lobbyists.” He declared that he intended to take down “the ‘For Sale’ sign in Carson City.”
The Democratic race for governor is currently headed by third-term Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak, who launched his bid in June.
Wealthy Las Vegas businessman Stephen Cloobeck, the founder and former chief executive of Diamond Resorts, said Tuesday he also is considering entering the race as a self-funded Democrat.