Working for all in District 17 |

Working for all in District 17

Jeanette Strong

“I’m running to be your Nevada State Senator because it’s time to put people over profit and it’s time that we have a voice who serves the real needs of the people!” Curtis Cannon, candidate for State Senator, District 17.

Nevada State Senate District 17 covers four counties — Churchill, Douglas, Lyon and Storey. It’s a huge district geographically, with nearly 128,000 people, as of the 2010 census, in an area of 7,897 square miles. The economy of District 17 is based on retail, health care, manufacturing, government, education, construction, and of course, agriculture. We need a state senator who cares about all of us in every county, not favoring one group above another.

Curtis Cannon is running to be that state senator. He’s been meeting voters in each of these counties, learning about the issues that are important to them. For example, at a recent meet and greet in Fallon, he listened to attendees share their concerns about the Safety-Kleen plant (formerly Bango) out by Swingle Bench. He wants to do this in every location, to better understand local concerns.

Curtis is the oldest of four sons. His father was a milkman, and Curtis began a paper route when he was 12. In high school in West Covina, California, he was a member of the Future Farmers of America. He raised a ewe to show at the Los Angles County Fair. These experiences gave him a great love and respect for agriculture and the rural life.

When Curtis was 18, he fell in love with aviation. He worked at a local airport and attended community college, taking classes to increase his aviation and pilot skills. He became an air traffic controller and in 1987, he joined the National Air Traffic Controllers Association, the newly formed air traffic controllers’ union. After 26 years protecting the public, Curtis retired from the job he loved as an air traffic controller.

While working in aviation, Curtis also acted to improve his local community. He participated in a senior home repair program as a handyman, doing home repairs for seniors who needed help. When the city ran out of funds, Curtis started his own small business, teaming up with local property management companies which would call him when someone needed assistance. Curtis was able to provide reliable work inexpensively to these senior citizens.

Curtis also took the opportunity to turn his love for riding his Harley into helping others by joining a local nonprofit motorcycle organization. This group raises funds for veterans and wounded warriors. To date, this club has raised more than $114,000 for veterans’ needs.

Currently, Curtis lives in Storey County and works part-time at a local home improvement store. He enjoys using his knowledge of home repair to assist customers and help his community with their DIY projects.

Because of these activities, Curtis is very aware of the needs of various segments of our population. Rural counties especially have some unique needs. Curtis wants to provide more health clinics in rural areas, staffed by physicians’ assistants who can tele-conference with doctors, providing quality care even in remote areas. Mental health care is another area of great need. According to Curtis, Nevada is currently last in the country for funding for mental health, while we are number one in elder suicide.

Education is another area of great need. Nevada is 44th in education funding in the country, and 50th in results. Curtis wants to increase vocational education at the high school level. He also wants to raise teachers’ pay and employ more counselors, so students can get the help they need early.

Curtis decided to run for office to advocate for values such as equal rights for all, affordable healthcare, a clean environment, protecting Social Security, creating mental health awareness and a quality education for all Nevadans. He says, “If I’m elected I will work for everyone in District 17 and beyond.”

Curtis sums up his goals this way: “Living in rural Nevada is a lifestyle that I have chosen. I love the open land, the endless views, clean air and the peacefulness that all this brings. Our neighborhoods are growing fast and so are the needs of the people. I want to make sure that the citizens, seniors and veterans in my district have the health care services that they need, education that provides our next generation with success and employment opportunities that will nurture a continuance of ‘Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness.’”

He will make a great state senator.

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