Ex-lawmaker to try to take seat back | NevadaAppeal.com

Ex-lawmaker to try to take seat back

Staff report

Debbie Smith has announced she will run to take back her legislative seat from Sun Valley Republican Don Gustavson.

Gustavson won the District 30 seat in Sparks and part of the north valleys by just 36 votes in 2002. One reason for Smith’s loss was a decision by several leaders in the black community to tell voters not to vote in the race because the Democratic party did little to help the candidacy of state Sen. Joe Neal of Las Vegas in his race for governor.

Speaker Richard Perkins, D-Henderson, joined Smith in announcing her candidacy at a Washoe County Democratic Party dinner Monday, describing her as “an outstanding legislator whose contributions on critical issues such as education and senior care were sorely missed during the 2002 session.”

Smith said she doesn’t believe Gustavson properly represents the district, which has about 1,500 more Democrats than Republicans.

“Don Gustavson’s answer to our problems is to say ‘no’ to everything,” she said. “No to adequately funding our schools, no to helping seniors stay in their own homes, no to protecting those in nursing homes from abuse and neglect, no to helping more Nevadans afford the cost of prescription drugs.”