Fallon grad seeks House seat | NevadaAppeal.com

Fallon grad seeks House seat

Steve Ranson
Published Caption: John Oceguera

A Churchill County High School graduate and former speaker of the state Assembly has thrown his hat into the race for the Fourth Congressional District, a spot held by first-term Republican Cresent Hardy.

John Oceguera, 47, announced his decision on Facebook and through southern Nevada media. A longtime Democrat, Oceguera currently lives in North Las Vegas with his wife and three children.

“Serving Nevada families has not only been my career, it’s my passion,” Oceguera said in a press release. “And, it’s why I know I can do a better job in Congress than Cresent Hardy.”

CD 4 already has a large field of Democrats seeking to unseat the first-term congressman. Other Democrats in the race include fellow contenders state Sen. Ruben Kihuen, former Assemblywoman Lucy Flores and Las Vegas philanthropist Susie Lee. Flores ran in a statewide race in 2014 but lost to Mark Hutchison for lieutenant governor.

After serving in the Assembly, Oceguera ran for the Third Congressional District, losing the vote to incumbent Joe Heck by 8 percent. Heck decided this month to run for U.S. Senate since incumbent Sen. Harry Reid announced his retirement.

Although Oceguera has spent most of his adult life in North Las Vegas, he hasn’t forgotten his Fallon roots.

The 1986 Churchill County High School grad is a fourth-generation Nevadan. At a speech in Fallon in March 2012, he said the values of hard work, education and perseverance helped him and his mother, retired third-grade teacher Eileen Montgomery, through some tough times.

“This community helped us,” he said of their difficult years.

Oceguera worked for the Federal Fire Department at Naval Air Station Fallon and once he received an Associate of Arts degree, he was hired by the North Las Vegas Fire Department until he retired several years ago as assistant fire chief.

Oceguera also received a bachelor’s and master’s degree before receiving a law degree.

On his Facebook page to explain his candidacy, Oceguera referenced the importance of how his career will help him in his run for the House of Representatives.

‘I grew up in a family of Nevada firefighters who taught me this: You always answer the call when someone is in need — that’s how I’ve lived my life and it’s why I’m running for Congress.” he wrote.

Furthermore, Oceguera, a frequent visitor to Fallon, said he plans to tout his native Nevadan heritage in both the northern and southern parts of CD 4 and emphasize his community service and relatively long tenure in the Assembly.