Time for a change | NevadaAppeal.com

Time for a change

Jeanette Strong

"Constituents are the real boss, and a public servant should never forget it." –Clint Koble

Nevada Congressional District 2, which covers most of Northern Nevada, was created after the 1980 U.S. Census. The first representative for CD 2 was Republican Barbara Vucanovich, elected in 1982. The next three representatives were Republican Jim Gibbons, Republican Dean Heller, and the current representative, Republican Mark Amodei.

Since its creation, Republicans have represented CD 2. Democrats often seem to have given up on winning the House seat here. In 2016, Democrat Chip Evans ran for the seat and won a respectable 36.9 percent of the vote. Now we have another excellent Democratic candidate who has a record of proven, practical results for Northern Nevada residents.

Clint Koble was born into a farm family in North Dakota. His family had very little money and had to work hard just to survive. This taught Clint, one of seven siblings, the value of hard work. Because they had little money to buy groceries, they had to either grow their food or hunt for it.

"We were taught responsible gun ownership at an early age because we grew up with guns. None of us wanted to take anyone's guns away; we needed them to hunt. But we never needed an AR-15 to bag a deer."

Clint attended a two-room country school, and was the first grandson in his family to graduate from university. He married, raised a family, and in 1985, he moved to Incline Village. In 1991, he moved his family to Reno, where he still lives.

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Because of his rural upbringing, Clint has a deep insight into the problems faced by rural families and communities. As the Rural Business Advisor for the Nevada Small Business Development Center (UNR College of Business), he helped Nevadans start and grow their small businesses. He interacted with banks, credit unions, economic development authorities, and Chambers of Commerce to help support small businesses.

In 2009, President Barack Obama appointed Clint to be the Nevada State Executive Director of the Farm Service Agency of the USDA. His job was to implement farm bills, oversee low-interest loans and disaster programs to eligible producers (farmers and ranchers), and promote conservation. Clint promoted the Know Your Farmer, Know Your Food initiative that helped grow the locally grown food movement and expand farmers markets.

Clint worked actively with Native American ranchers and farmers, people who had a troubled history with the USDA. He worked with local ranchers and farmers, Republican and Democratic, because his goals were not partisan but to do what is best for Nevada. The Fallon office of the Farm Service Agency was the busiest loan office in the state, helping local farmers get started and expand their operations.

He was proud to help many Northern Nevada producers survive the terrible years of drought from 2011 to 2014, and keep them on their family operations. "Agriculture depends upon water to grow the food for all of us and the recent drought years taught us the value of conserving water, preserving our soil health, and promoting drought-resistant crops."

Having lived in Reno since 1991 and worked extensively in rural Nevada, Clint has a unique perspective on rural and urban issues. He has dealt with many of the major issues across Nevada: public lands, sage grouse habitat, wild horses, water policy and regulation, drought, broadband challenges, and tribal issues.

Clint graduated from the Reno Citizens Institute in 2015, a 10-week session that highlighted how individual city departments work. He's worked with city, county, state, and federal officials. Clint feels all of this experience combined with his ability to promote small business in Nevada makes him qualified to take on the responsibilities of CD 2.

Clint believes his first responsibility as a representative will be to his job and his constituents.

"Constituents are the real boss, and a public servant should never forget it," Clint says. "We are in a difficult political climate these days, and more respect, civility, and bipartisanship is needed to start making government work again!"

Too many Republicans refuse to vote for a Democrat due to several misconceptions, including the lies that Democrats want to confiscate everyone's guns and Democrats don't understand the problems of "real" Americans. Clint Koble is proof that these beliefs are false. He knows the problems faced by Northern Nevadans, he has already been working hard to solve these problems, and he will be an informed and bold representative for us in Washington, D.C. He deserves a chance.

Jeanette Strong, whose column appears every other week, is a Nevada Press Association award-winning columnist. She may be reached at news@lahontanvalleynews.com.