U.S. Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Carson City, during his appearance on Nevada Newsmakers on Nov. 2, 2021.
Rep. Mark Amodei won his GOP primary contest by 21 percent over Danny Tarkanian on Tuesday.
Amodei collected more than 54 percent of the vote compared to 31 percent for Tarkanian.
Elizabeth Mercedes Krause won Tuesday’s Democratic primary and will face Amodei in November.
With a full decade of tenure in the House of Representatives, Amodei said a win in November would put him, “one slot away from a subcommittee chairman on appropriations,” if the GOP takes the majority. The appropriations committee is the body that writes and processes all 12 bills that make up the federal budget.
Amodei said that gets members of appropriations a significant amount of attention from federal agencies that rely on the committee for their budgets. In Nevada’s case, he said that especially gets attention from the BLM, the Forest Service, Bureau of Reclamation and the Department of Defense that, together, control 85 percent of the land in Nevada.
“You get the ability to touch all 12 budget bills before they go to the floor,” he said.
He said he believes he won by a large margin because he based his campaign on his record — “truth and a campaign whose theme was based on proven performance as opposed to just trying to burn down everybody else.”
“I’m not sure anybody benefitted from a three-quarter-million-dollar attack campaign,” he said.
A lot of what he said he works on for Nevada is “infrastructure stuff” and that voters responded to that. Those issues, he said, he works on constantly.
“You’ve got to work it every day,” he said.
Amodei said there may be some worrisome things in the primary turnout data.
“It doesn’t match with all the prognostication of red waves,” Amodei said. “If Republicans have a challenge, it’s always been turning out their voters to the max extent possible.”
This cycle, he said Democrats have an incumbent governor and incumbent U.S. senator to defend and “somebody in the D-sphere will know how to turn people out.”
He pointed out that, two years ago, Donald Trump came out of Nevada’s 15 smaller counties with a 75,000-vote lead before he ran into, “the 100,000-vote wall” in Clark and Washoe counties.
For Tarkanian, it was his seventh loss in 10 elections — four of them in races for a seat in the House of Representatives. He also lost one state Senate race, one run for Secretary of State and one U.S. Senate race.
In two other races, he withdrew before election day.
Tarkanian’s only general election win was two years ago when he ran and won his current seat on the Douglas County Commission.