Primary Election 2022: U.S. Representative in Congress- District 2 - Democrats

Candidates Michael Doucette, Gerold Lee Gorman and Rahul A. Joshi didn’t respond to multiple requests to contribute.

Joseph Afzal
Resident: Reno
Occupation: Senior Accountant
Age: 33
Contact information:
email:; website:

Currently enrolled at Western Governors University (Bachelors degree in Accounting)

Joseph Afzal


Briefly describe the core duties of the position you are running for.
Representing the needs of Northern Nevadans in the United States Congress.

What makes you the most qualified candidate for this position:
While I may not be a career politician and have no plans to be one, I am at the beginning of a mission to end stigma’s that impact children every day. I have an extensive background with a primary focus on advocating for disadvantaged youth. I faced many challenges growing up and want to be a voice that breaks the cycle of issues that many children are still facing today. I spent 10 unnecessary years in the foster care system due to corruption. Furthermore, my mental health was severely impacted by this and I still face many challenges from it today. While children can’t vote, I am hoping people will see that I am one of the few people who can make a difference due to my very unique experience that not very many have. I can help with issues involving educational struggles, LGBTQ issues, mental health, sexual assault/abuse, immigration, foster care, disabilities, and more. Children don’t have a voice and are forced to suffer in silence. It is time to change that; not only for children, but ALL individuals who face these struggles today.

Timothy “Tim” Hanifan
Resident: Reno
Occupation: Customer Service Retail
Age: 26
Contact information:

Tim Hanifan


Record of service:
I have acted as a civil servant through my various job roles, ranging from tutoring and assisting in classrooms to helping solve everyday problems for people within my current customer service position.
I have yet to serve our country in the armed or uniformed services. But, being raised within a military family, I recognize the sacrifices they made and fight to honor and respect those who have served!

I attended Douglas High School, graduating in 2014. I then moved to attend the University of Nevada, Reno, where I received my Bachelor of Science in Chemistry with a professional emphasis in 2019.

Briefly describe the core duties of the position you are running for.
There are many duties for a U.S. representative. First, they vote and show up for appointment committees. Further, they must reach across the aisle and ensure policies and laws which benefit Nevada are put forward. Finally, an open-door policy for all the individuals they represent always helps.

A brief statement about your platform
The key points of my platform rest within cooperation and collaboration.
I believe all forms of health care should be made universally available to all. I will work to implement a single-payer. Our healthcare system must decrease medication prices and premium costs.
I will fight to make housing a human right, fight for our ever-growing homeless populations to afford them needed resources, and work to increase our access to affordable housing. We must act now to address the prices of owning and renting property alike.
I support increasing the funding of our education system from the ground up. We need paid pre-kindergarten childcare, modernized classrooms in our school systems, and increased funding support for vocational and public college programs.
I will work to bring more money to Nevada for our mass transit systems. We need advancements ranging from urban planning to rural infrastructure. We must modernize our trains, and provide consumer and manufacturing incentives for electric vehicles.
I will fight to preserve and protect our public lands and natural beauties in Nevada. I will fight for the US to implement a nuclear recycling program. This technology is widely available by the modern world. It would increase the amount of green jobs for Nevada.

What makes you the most qualified candidate for this position?
I am running for the U.S. House of Representatives to change the conversation. For too long, our leaders have been concerned more with themselves than those they represent. I come from the working class, and with putting 40 plus hours of work each week to pay my bills, I have a unique understanding of both the strengths and struggles of our working class. One of the many reasons I am qualified for Congress is because I am a scientist. I seek to help make science the foundation of the decisions made in the country. Being a scientist means being committed to compromise and finding a solution which benefits everyone. My background in science, along with my understanding of the working class, offers a needed perspective and voice in our political system.
Across Northern Nevada, everyday people and their families are struggling to pay their bills. The issues their electorate face, from the price of housing to the prices of gas, are not felt or understood by our leaders. I am not only able to speak and hear these issues every day, but I have spent my entire life in this area and exploring the holes in the wall this state has to offer. I understand what Nevadans want out of their leaders, states, and generally how they want to go about living. We are the last of the wild west and proud of it. We value independence and freedom equally, yet are always willing to lend a hand in aid. I understand what we mean in the north when we yell “Battle Born'' and will bring this with me to congress with pride.

Brian Hansen
Resident: Fallon
Occupation: Slot Manager for Trukee Gaming Casinos
Age: 36

Brian Hansen


Record of service
The difference between others running and myself is simple I’m an outsider, never run for office before. Maybe that’s what we need this time a bull-headed stubborn guy who will stand for those that can’t stand for themselves.

Graduated from Carson High in 2003, attended WNC until 2006

Briefly describe the core duties of the position you are running for.
Pass laws that help citizens, represent the people by being their voice in Washington, vote on a declaration of war, impeach and try federal officers, approve treaties negotiated by the executive branch.

A brief statement about your platform
My number one priority is healthcare, insurance companies are scam artist and we’ve let them bankrupt us long enough. The number one reason people go bankrupt in the US is because of medical billing. That’s not ok, we can do better and I will push both democrats and republicans to do better. I’m a firm believer in Medicare for all and will fight for it.

What makes you the most qualified candidate for this position?
I’m not a politician, I’m just a regular guy who sees all the same problems everyone else does and I’m hell bent on fixing things, for you, your families, for my new born son, for my family. My dad told me when I was young that if I see someone that needs help and I can help them, it’s my responsibility to help them. Our country needs help we all need help, so let me help.

Mercedes Krause
Resident: Reno
Occupation: Educator, founder of the Non-profit Indigenous Educators Empowerment
Age: 46
Contact information

Elizabeth Krause


Record of service:(George Walter Krause US Navy, WWII), and proud relative of many distinguished veterans.

Graduated from UNLV BA Education, Art Emphasis. Graduated from Concordia University with, M.Ed in Administrative Leadership, Attended Montana State University, Native American Studies Major

Briefly describe the core duties of the position you are running for.
The duties of my position are to understand the needs of my constituents and create a plan to prioritize issues that are impacting them, vote on and also develop legislative proposals to address these issues, as well as convey them to other decision-makers so that we can find solutions.

A brief statement about your platform
I echo a call for the need for diverse representation in Nevada, true representation. It is especially important in district 2, where 18 out of the 27 tribal communities of Nevada live. Native Americans make up over 5% of the population according to the last census, so that means in order to have the representation we need to have 64 indigenous representatives (source Advance Native Leadership). When we remember to uplift our least represented community members, it creates a shield to protect all. We can only accept representatives who see, hear, and are willing to uplift and act on the needs of all community members. I believe in a people-first approach to the important issues of environmental protection, water conservation, social issues, and the important everyday issues around the quality of life, the dignity Nevadans deserve. I am also bi-lingual in Spanish, with roots in Belen, New Mexico which will support my efforts to connect with the large Latinx population in district 2. I am interested in working with leaders from each and every single one of the communities that make-up Nevada so that together we can find real solutions for all Nevadans. We are all in this together.

What makes you the most qualified candidate for this position
In my life, I have raised three daughters. Life as a single mother is joyful, but also just as often hard. The trying times gave me the experience to understand and have compassion for the challenges others face such as affordable housing, living wages, behavioral and mental health, and the need for quality healthcare.
I started my work outside of teaching with a focus on international diplomacy which opened the way for me to win the NCIV Teacher of the Year Award in 2013. I later became the ED for the International Visitors Leadership Program (IVLP)  in Southern Nevada, bringing delegates from around the world to hear from local experts on topics of water sharing, cyber security, the environment, and economic development. During this time one of my delegations involved a trip to the Grand Canyon which brought the realization that there was so much work to do in my own community. This is when moved to a focus on issues impacting my community, the Native American Community.
In that move, I have worked to push for accountability and improvements for Indigenous students, and also to activate the Native vote and bring the issues impacting our community such as the most to the forefront for change, including the expansion of the Native Tuition Waiver to include citizens and descendants of all federally-recognized tribes, the building of equitable educational facilities for Nevada tribes, bands, and colonies, funding for data collection on cases of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and Two-Spirit People (MMIWG2P), Indian Education For All, creation and funding of a Native Languages Budget, tribal appointments in all governmental bodies and government-funded bodies, upholding of the United Nations Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples’ principle of Free, Prior, and Informed Consent In all Decisions and Projects Affecting Public Lands.


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