Republican candidates running for statewide offices visit Fallon | NevadaAppeal.com

Republican candidates running for statewide offices visit Fallon

Steve Ranson
LVN Editor Emeritus

Statewide candidates facing opponents from their own political party have been stumping around Nevada as the primary election looms.

Early voting ends today, or voters will go to the polls on Tuesday to cast their ballots not only for local candidates but for state and federal office seekers.

Attorney General Adam Laxalt, who's running for governor, Wes Duncan, candidate for attorney general, and Michael Roberson, the state Senate Republican leader seeking the lieutenant governor's office, met with the public Tuesday at Pizza Barn.

Laxalt explained the state tour included 29 stops and is introducing not only himself but the two other candidates who may not be as recognizable as the attorney general. Laxalt, who hails from an iconic Nevada family, has been a frequent visitor to Fallon during the last four years to speak before groups about decisions and issues concerning Nevadans. His grandfather, Paul Laxalt, served as governor and a U.S. senator from Nevada.

Roberson, the Senate Republican leader since 2012, said retired state Sen. Mike McGinness of Fallon played an important role in his legislative career.

"He was a mentor to me, and I was honored to be able to nominate him to the Senate Hall of Fame (in 2015)," Roberson said.

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Roberson said the stakes are high this election cycle because he called the Democratic leadership in the legislature anti-business and bent on making Nevada a sanctuary state like California. He said either Democratic candidates for governor, Chris Giunchigliani or Steve Sisolak, would sign a sanctuary bill next legislative session if they were elected to the office. Both Democrats sit on the Clark County Commission. Roberson said either one of them would like to implement tax-payer funded abortion.

Additionally, Roberson said he is endorsed by the National Rifle Association and the Nevada Firearms Association.

"Both candidates (Giunchigliani and Sisolak) are working to take away Second Amendment rights of law-abiding citizens," Roberson said. "We have to make sure Adam Laxalt is our next governor. With the help of Fallon that is going to happen."

Duncan is an Iraqi war veteran and currently a major in the United States Air Force Reserve. He encouraged people at Pizza Barn to support the candidates. Duncan reflected on his son's recent pre-school graduation and what the state will look like 12 to 13 years in the future. He said the future could be directly decided with the choices people make during this year's elections.

"There's another party out there that has a different vision of what Nevada shall look like," he said.

Duncan served as an assemblyman from District 37 for one term and as Laxalt's first assistant attorney general of Nevada from 2014 to 2016. He said 15 district attorneys and 15 sheriffs across Nevada have endorsed him. Duncan said as attorney general, he would defend Nevadans' Second Amendment rights, continue to make the state safe and go after violent crimes.

Furthermore, Duncan said voters can't take a lackadaisical attitude or take the elections granted.

"This election is much more important," he said. "It's about our state."

Laxalt said the campaign swing has been "an incredible tour" before the primary election.

"What we found are hundreds and hundreds of people willing to show up," he said. "They understand what's at state with this race."

Laxalt said Nevada retains some of its Libertarian leanings of low taxes and fewer regulations and haven't succumbed to what has been occurring in California with its "bottomless pit of regulations, new taxes and new ideas from super liberal politicians."

"Why do you think thousands of Californians are leaving the state?" he asked.

Laxalt also encouraged the crowd at Pizza Barn to talk to their friends and have them vote. He also asked them to talk to their Democratic friends because the Democrats are not the same party they were 10 years ago. He said many Democrats in last year's legislature are so far left that very few recognize them and their stances.

Laxalt reiterated his commitment to visiting the state on a regular basis during his term as attorney general and also working extensively with law enforcement. He said he would do the same as governor.

Laxalt also said the state's economy is doing well and the infrastructure is ranked in the top five among all states.

"It does look like our economy is doing consistently well right now, and I don't see any signs of it slowing," he added.

If elected governor, he wants to keep the state veteran friendly, a goal achieved by Gov. Brian Sandoval. The Navy veteran who served in Iraq said he's concerned about the suicide rate among veterans and wants a task force to look at long-term solutions. He also wants to create a Veterans Summit similar to the Law Enforcement Summit he established as attorney general. The Veterans Summit would bring military veteran leaders together to look at successes and how to tackle issues for the future.

Laxalt said his Democratic opponents are not being truthful when he determined that Question 1, a ballot measure that required more background checks on sales and transfers, was unenforceable. Question 1 passed in only one county, Clark, but the margin of approval from Southern Nevada resulted in its statewide passage.

As for the 15 rural counties, Question 1 went down in flames, 79-21 percent and in Washoe, 54-45 percent.

According to an LVN editorial on Jan. 4, 2017, "because of the manner in which it was written, the ballot measure called for the federal government — not the state — to perform the background checks. The FBI notified the Nevada Department of Public Safety it would not conduct the background checks. In a letter to Nevada officials, the FBI said it is the state's responsibility to perform the checks and that the ballot measure's approval 'cannot dictate how federal resources are applied.'"

Laxalt said Tuesday the Bloomberg-backed measure was written erroneously.

"They are trying to rally the base," he said of the two Democratic candidates.

Laxalt was asked about the plan to build Interstate 11 in Nevada. The interstate highway will follow much of the U.S. 95 corridor to I-80 in western Nevada, but from Mineral County to Interstate 80, four alternative routes have been proposed.

"I don't have any more information on it," he said. "But it will be great for the state."

Duncan said both he and Laxalt oppose any federal action to store nuclear material at Yucca Mountain.

Roberson, if elected as lieutenant general, also serves as chairman of the Nevada Commission on Tourism and the Nevada Commission on Economic Development. He advocates diversifying education in the state to keep up with the economic development.

"I have more legislative experience with education and economic development than any other candidate," he said.

Roberson also said the community colleges have a vital role, and he added he and Laxalt are big proponents of Career and Technical Education and also are focused on rural Nevada.