Top Nevada Republican candidates make pitch to women’s group

It didn’t take much to convince longtime Republican Carol Tank to vote her party’s ticket this year. But hearing from top GOP candidates running for the state’s highest offices — governor, lieutenant governor and attorney general — at a Tuesday luncheon hosted by the Southern Hills Republican Women’s Club cemented her decisions. “People are leaving the state because of the failure of the schools,” Tank told state Sen. Michael Roberson, the Republican lieutenant governor nominee. She praised Roberson for telling the crowd at Buckman’s Grille that improving the state’s education system is the “key to economic development and job growth.” Roberson was joined by gubernatorial nominee Adam Laxalt and attorney general candidate Wes Duncan. The 200-member Southern Hills Republican Women’s Club has hosted a candidate lunch every election year since 2005, said founding president Michele Turner. Laxalt, Duncan and Roberson were asked if they support the Energy Choice Initiative, or Question 3 on the November ballot, which would open Nevada’s electric market to competitors. All three voiced support for the measure, saying competition would lower electric rates for consumers. The measure is opposed by leading Nevada Democrats, including U.S. Rep. Dina Titus. “Any chance we have to deregulate something and end monopolies will lower prices,” Laxalt said, adding that the measure would give the Nevada Legislature five years to roll out the changes, ensuring the measure “does what it’s supposed to do.” Laxalt, the state’s attorney general, touted his accomplishments in office, including creating an elder fraud unit and reducing a backlog of untested rape kits. An attendee asked whether he will debate Steve Sisolak, his Democratic rival. Laxalt said he had accepted an invitation from the Las Vegas Review-Journal and is awaiting Sisolak’s response. Laxalt said he supports Education Savings Accounts and expanding charter schools. He warned attendees that Sisolak would raise taxes and turn Nevada into California — a common GOP refrain. On the topic of mass shootings, Duncan said resolving the state’s mental health crisis is a critical first step. Duncan, an Iraq War veteran, promised to be “tough on crime” if elected — while dedicating funding to bolster psychiatric emergency rooms and outreach teams for mentally ill residents and domestic violence victims. Duncan’s Democratic opponent, Senate Majority Leader Aaron Ford, was a hot topic for the Republican candidates. Roberson called him “a tax-dodging tire thief.” Roberson repeated his claim that Democrats pushed the most “pro-felon, anti-business” legislative session in 2017, pointing to bills that would increase the minimum wage, provide mandatory sick leave and allow offenders to vote. He credited Gov. Brian Sandoval with vetoing 41 bills last year. “It is shameful yet unsurprising that an ineffective legislator like Michael Roberson has nothing better to do than hurl incendiary insults with no basis in fact,” Ford campaign manager Jessica Adair said. If Laxalt loses, Roberson warned, Democrats will push their agenda again. Critics said Roberson’s “anti-felon” comments are racist because Ford is black. “That’s ridiculous. I’m not going to dignify accusations of Twitter trolls,” Roberson said following his speech. Full Article