Congressional District 2 Special Election: GOP candidates meet women’s federation |

Congressional District 2 Special Election: GOP candidates meet women’s federation

Three of the four Republicans candidates seeking Dean Heller’s House seat told the Republican Women’s Federation Saturday they would best carry out the conservative, small government, reduced spending goals of the party.

State party chairman and former state Senator Mark Amodei of Carson City, former U.S. Attorney and State Senator Greg Brower of Reno and retired Navy Cmdr. Kirk Lippold all attended the candidate forum at the Plaza in Carson City. Sharron Angle was in Hawthorne for an event and did not attend.

Amodei said the state needs “an advocate to represent us in CD2 in those final 11 months who can hit the ground running.”

He said his qualifications include long service on natural resource and public lands committees in the Legislature and a conservative voting record unmatched by any Nevada Senator except Fallon Republican Mike McGinness because he not only opposed taxes but opposed the budget he believes was too fat.

He also said he would remain a Nevadan if elected to the House seat in September’s special election. However in Washington, Amodei said he would be a voice for smaller government and reduced spending.

He said voters should select some one “who thinks about the people who sent him there.”

“The work is in Washington, D.C.,” he said. “I would still live in Nevada.”

In a pre-emptive strike, Amodei defended that plan he and Sen. Terry Care, D-Las Vegas, put out in the 2003 session calling for a tax increase. He said it was a strategic move designed to kill the gross receipts tax plan submitted by Gov. Kenny Guinn’s people.

“That would have been the equivalent of a Nevada income tax,” Amodei said.

He said instead, the plan he and Care presented “was the centerpiece of killing gross receipts.”

Brower followed Amodei teasing him about that tax plan: “He’s the only guy I know who can tell you proposing a billion dollar tax increase is a good thing. Keep up the good work, Mark.”

Brower touted his service in the Navy, the Nevada Assembly, the justice department after 9/11 and as U.S. Attorney for Nevada before his appointment to fill the Senate seat vacated by Bill Raggio.

He, like Amodei, said in the next election cycle, Republicans should be able to reclaim control of the Nevada Senate.

“It has been a very interesting legislative session,” he said. “We’re opposing bad legislation, which is hard to do when you’re in the minority. And there’s a lot of it.”

He said he would be an effective voice in Washington, D.C. because he has the experience with the justice department.

“We need changes in Washington,” Brower said. “I’m the voice of change.”

Lippold said the defining moment for him was when terrorist bombers in Yemen attacked the destroyer U.S.S. Cole, which he was in command of. He said that attack, “in three milliseconds, changed how the Navy does business.”

Lippold said he is committed to a life of public service and that means fixing Washington.

He described himself as “fiscally responsible, socially conservative, a person who wants government off our backs.”

“We’ve got a government that’s out of control and it’s not just a tax and spend problem. It’s a spend and spend and spend problem.”

The three made their pitch before about 100 Republican women.

The party central committee is scheduled to meet June 18 to select its candidate for the special election to replace Heller, who was appointed to the U.S. Senate by Gov. Brian Sandoval.