Hundreds turn out for GOP rally in Mills Park
Several hundred people turned out Sunday for the Republican Party’s Old Fashioned Political Rally in Mills Park, a good number of them to try to sort through the laundry list of U.S. Senate candidates.
There are 12 GOP Senate candidates and three governor candidates in the primary, all of them promoting no new taxes, smaller government and a halt to illegal immigration.
“The idea is to pick the one who’s not lying about it,” said a 60-ish man who declined to give his name.
Nancy Worthington of Incline Village echoed that sentiment: “I’ve listened pretty carefully to the major candidates for Senate. I think it’s important to pick somebody who will actually do what they say. It’s a question of character.”
Gubernatorial candidates Gov. Jim Gibbons and Mike Montandon both attended. Brian Sandoval did not.
Gibbons proudly told the crowd he vetoed 42 budget bills.
“We need a Legislature that agrees with me,” he said. “We need to keep government small.”
Montandon said he has signed the no-tax pledge.
“We need to return to prosperity and we will never fill the gap by raising taxes,” he said.
Senate candidates Sue Lowden, Danny Tarkanian, Bill Parson and Chad Christensen also addressed the crowd. Lowden said she too has signed the no-tax pledge.
Tarkanian said it’s time to get the nation back on the right road and time to limit government. Christensen, who has spent several terms in Nevada’s Assembly, pointed to his anti-tax voting record there.
Parson drew support from several in the crowd by describing himself as a constitutionalist. He told the audience the federal government should return to the values of the founding fathers and do only what the Constitution says it should do. He said the rest of the powers should be returned to the states as originally intended by the authors of the Constitution.
That message struck a note with several of those in the crowd.
Lynae Franco of Silver Springs said that message was a bit different from the other speakers.
“I didn’t know about him before today,” she said. “He said if it’s not in the Constitution, we don’t do it. And term limits. He said he won’t serve more than two terms.”
“Bill Parson stands out to me because of what he said about the Constitution,” said Victoria Linehan of Carson City. “He said he’ll defend the Constitution.”
“I don’t care what party a person is with. I’m going to vote for the person who’s going to defend this country,” she said.
Ray Silliker of Washoe Valley said most of those candidates are saying the same things. But he said he liked what Parson told the crowd.
“I was in the Marines,” he said. “When somebody asked what do we do now, I said look in the book. We’ve got a book. We’ve got the Constitution. Why aren’t we using it?”
He said his biggest fear is that all those candidates will divide the vote by fighting among themselves and hand the election to Harry Reid.
“Everybody thinks Harry is going to be a soft touch,” he said. “I don’t.”
Ted Hummel of Silver Springs said among the governors’ candidates, he likes Gibbons, who he said has been true to his word fighting against taxes and for smaller government.
“Jim Gibbons is my hero,” he said.
Franco also backed Gibbons, saying, “He followed his word, doing what he said he was going to do.”
Numerous other candidates also showed up for the event including Senate 4 candidate Ben Kieckhefer; Lynda Upton, Amy Clemens and Pete Livermore, who are running for Assembly 40; Assembly 38 candidate Tom Grady and Capital Senate District candidate James Settelmeyer. All three Carson sheriff’s candidates were there as well.
Part of the draw at the rally was food at old-fashioned prices: 50-cent hot dogs and hamburgers, 10-cent soft drinks.
But the day was soured a bit when a teen-ager grabbed the donation box set up to help cover the cost of the food and ran off.
The cashier, who identified herself only as Suzie, said she and others ran after him, “but the little sucker was faster than us.”
The donation box, she said, had several hundred dollars in it.
She said the thief was 14 or 15 and wearing a Prestige Car Wash T-shirt.
Organizers took up a collection among the candidates attending to replace the money.
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