[The Election Issue]

What the Masto Heck? A closer look at the senate candidates


The résumés of Nevada’s two major-party candidates for the U.S. Senate, Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto and Republican Joe Heck, have gotten somewhat lost in the noise surrounding the presidential race. Here’s a quick primer on who stands for what, drawn from their campaign websites and public statements.


Cortez Masto would vote to increase education funding and oppose “efforts by some in Washington to dismantle the Department of Education.”

Heck wants to fund Career and Technical Education (CTE) programs and simplify the federal financial aid application process.


Cortez Masto favors stronger background checks: “My husband [and I] are both gun owners. But imagine the lunacy of letting those listed on the terrorist no-fly list to be able to buy guns like the rest of us.”

Heck sees gun violence as a mental health issue: “By actually addressing the root causes of gun violence, we will be able to cast partisan differences aside and enact policies that actually prevent these senseless tragedies,” he says.


Cortez Masto would work to lower taxes for the middle class, fight against trade deals that send jobs overseas and invest in transportation projects like the Interstate 11 corridor.

Heck wants to reduce government regulations on businesses, provide tax breaks to small business owners and boost international travel to Las Vegas.


Cortez Masto supports the DREAM act and would enact reforms that “secures our borders and allows millions of undocumented immigrants … to earn a path to citizenship.”

Heck wants to strengthen the border with Mexico (and with Canada), expand employment eligibility verification and create a “guest worker program that allows for both high-skill and low-skill labor.”


Cortez Masto intends to crack down on human trafficking, a job she began as Nevada’s Attorney General.

While in the House of Representatives, Heck opposed the bulk collection of private phone records under the PATRIOT Act.

Photo of Geoff Carter

Geoff Carter

Experts in paleoanthropology believe that Geoff Carter began his career in journalism sometime in the early Grunge period, when he ...

Get more Geoff Carter
Top of Story