Carter betting many Nevadans fed up with Washington |

Carter betting many Nevadans fed up with Washington

Democratic U.S. Senate candidate Jack Carter, who visited Carson City and surrounding areas Thursday, says he’s betting the small-town and rural Nevadans are fed up with the direction Washington, D.C., is taking.

“This administration is so extreme, it makes Carter and Reagan, the first Bush and Clinton look pretty close together,” said Carter, son of former President Jimmy Carter. “This administration has run off the road, and I think my opponent is part of that.”

Carter said President George Bush’s actions, including condemning leaks of national security information when the administration itself was doing the leaking, “strikes home in the rurals.”

“This president is not doing what a president is supposed to be doing,” he said.

Carter said his opponent John Ensign, the Republican who is seeking his second term in the Senate, is part of the problem.

“He basically does what the administration tells him to,” he said, pointing to Congressional Quarterly statistics that show Ensign voted with Bush 96 percent of the time. “He’s an apologist and supporter of this administration.”

As a complement to his rural roots, Carter said he also brings a strong background on national issues and connections with those in charge in Washington, D.C., courtesy of his father’s four years as president.

“The other Senators in Washington – I’ve got long-term relationships with a lot of those guys,” he said.

Those connections, he said, would help him be effective, even as a freshman in the Senate.

On immigration, Carter said border security must be tightened and that those who sneak into the United States are breaking the law. But, he said, Bush’s guest-worker program isn’t the answer because those people would become permanent guests with no hope of citizenship.

“I do think we have to have some path to citizenship. That’s what America has done for years – take in immigrants and make them citizens.”

Carter said the partisan split in Washington has prevented everyone from sitting down and working out a solution. He said that same partisanship has infected far too many issues in the nation’s capital, and that he would work to break that barrier. He said growing up in the tiny town of Plains, Ga., taught him to work with folks even when you don’t agree on everything.

Carter is considered an underdog in the race at this point, but he said the support, and money, is beginning to come in. He began raising money in November and had received $620,000 in contributions by March.

With contribution limits and a ban on corporate money, he said he was pleased with that, but admitted much of his time is dedicated to fundraising.

He said he hopes soon to focus more on getting out into rural Nevada and talking with people about what they see as the state’s and nation’s most pressing needs.

On Thursday, he stopped over in Genoa and Incline Village.

Election calendar

May 1-12 … Official filing period begins

July 26 … Last day to return absentee ballots

July 29 … Early voting opens

Aug. 11 … Early voting closes

Aug. 15 … Primary election

Oct. 18 … Last day to return absentee ballots

Oct. 2 … Early voting opens

Nov. 3 … Early voting closes

Nov. 7 … General election

• Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at or 687-8750.