Marshall focuses on taxes in first campaign ads |

Marshall focuses on taxes in first campaign ads

Associated Press

LAS VEGAS – Democrat Kate Marshall is preaching conservative spending in two TV spots designed to portray her as the fiscally prudent choice in Nevada’s special election to fill a vacant U.S. House seat.

The ads released Wednesday by Marshall’s campaign mark her first TV spots of the election. One claims she saved Nevada millions of dollars as state treasurer. The second slams Republican rival Mark Amodei for voting to raise taxes while serving in the state Senate in 2003.

The ads reflect Marshall’s desire to come across as a moderate, independent candidate in a congressional district dominated by Republican voters. The northern Nevada district has never elected a Democrat.

Meanwhile, Amodei’s campaign has strived to link Marshall to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat who won re-election in Nevada last year despite his unpopularity among voters, especially in rural parts of the state.

Marshall’s TV spots are airing in Reno and Las Vegas this week ahead of the Sept. 13 special election to replace Republican Dean Heller, who resigned from the House to take a U.S. Senate appointment in May.

“What’s Amodei done?” the narrator states. “Amodei sponsored the biggest tax hike in Nevada history. One billion dollars on car repairs, movie tickets, even a tax on creating jobs. He evens admits it.”

The ad then cuts to Amodei addressing his record in the third-person: “Amodei sponsored a billion dollar tax bill,” he says. “Well, yeah, that’s true.”

Amodei’s campaign spokesman Peter DeMarco said Marshall’s record does not match the conservative persona she is selling to voters and called her deceptive.

The Amodei campaign has aired three TV spots slamming President Barack Obama and Washington Democrats, but not Marshall. DeMarco would not confirm whether the campaign would directly attack Marshall in future campaign spots.

Amodei’s first TV ad released in June portrayed a futuristic society where the United States is dependent on China after taking on so much debt.

He later released two other ad spots where he promised to cut federal taxes if elected.

DeMarco said Amodei supported the 2003 tax increase because it was a bipartisan compromise sewn together to cover budget shortfalls. But DeMarco said Amodei’s overall politics are much more conservative than Marshall’s, who supported Hillary Clinton’s 2008 presidential bid, favors legal abortion and has championed the concept of universal health care. Amodei has signed an anti-tax pledge pushed by conservative groups, while Marshall hasn’t.

“Mark Amodei’s record and his positions are aligned much more closely and effortlessly with the constituents of the district than Kate Marshall’s are or will be,” DeMarco said. “She very clearly has a very, very difficult, if not insurmountable, challenge.”

But Marshall’s campaign spokesman James Hallinan said she will appeal to voters in the Republican district by championing job creation and vowing to protect Social Security and Medicare if elected.

“This election is about Nevadans,” Hallinan said. “It’s not about Republicans or Democrats.”