Let’s forget all of this nonsense about a red wave or a blue wave, Nevada, and focus on what our state has done right in recent years.
We’ve turned our back on wild-eyed extremists and instead selected pragmatic leaders who favor working with all sides. We’ve had a Republican governor who Democrats found they could work with and Democratic legislators who could find compromises with state Republicans.
Was it one big happy family? Nope. But compared with leaders in other states, our lawmakers have been far more willing to step over party lines.
That should continue now at the national level with a powerful slate of candidates for the U.S. House who have proven they embody the best of modern, forward-looking Nevada.
Here’s a race-by-race breakdown.
1st District: Dina Titus
Democratic incumbent Dina Titus has been a powerhouse in the district, winning each of her three terms by margins of 33 percent, 20 percent and 32 percent, respectively.
Titus has done an exemplary job of serving various interests and communities in the district, which lies in the heart of the Valley. Most recently, she’s put up staunch opposition to Trump in his attacks on immigrants, women and the environment.
This year, she’s once again a prohibitive favorite as she faces retired Realtor and small-business owner Joyce Bentley, who has yet to report raising any campaign funding for the position.
3rd District: Susie Lee
Susie Lee’s work in community service, philanthropy and advocacy for education in Southern Nevada has aided untold numbers of Nevadans, including many who might not have made it through school without her efforts.
She understands the issues in Nevada in a profound, ground-level manner, which leads her to solid solutions to our problems.
Lee is the president of Communities in Schools of Nevada, which provides 63,000 at-risk students statewide with whatever they need to stay in school. And that means whatever—tutoring, clothing, food, transportation, toiletries, laundry facilities, eyeglasses, alarm clocks and much more.
The organization has thrived under Lee’s leadership, with 75 percent of the children it serves improving their attendance, 85 percent improving their academics and 88 percent graduating or receiving their GED.
In addition, Lee founded a women’s investment group that has provided funding for a number of nonprofits, and founded a homeless crisis intervention center. A product of a working-class family who had a paper route growing up and worked part-time jobs to help put herself through college, Lee has spent her career building a ladder for others.
Her passion for helping others and her ability to produce results make Lee an extraordinary candidate to represent Nevadans in the House. The same goes for her commitment to support affordable health care and fight for gender equality, gun safety, immigration reform, environmental protections and development of renewable energy.
Lee made an unsuccessful bid for Congress in 2016, when she lost in a competitive three-way Democratic primary race for the 4th District. Ruben Kihuen went on to win the seat.
But this is the right seat at the right time for Lee.
This time, she beat a crowded field in the primary and is now facing Republican candidate Danny Tarkanian.
Perennially unqualified for any office whatsoever, Tarkanian has gone 0-for-5 in bids for public office, and his full-throated support for President Donald Trump’s divisive agenda should make this loss No. 6. Tarkanian has said he agreed with the president’s stances on repealing the Affordable Care Act, immigration and border security, national security, tax reform and other issues.
In 2016, voters in the 3rd District chose Democrat Jacky Rosen over Tarkanian.
Now, with Rosen having given up the seat to run for Senate, voters once again have a choice between the extreme Tarkanian and a compassionate, highly capable candidate who will serve Nevada wonderfully while bringing honor and wisdom to our congressional delegation.
The choice is Lee, hands down.
4th District: Steven Horsford
This position has been tossed around a lot in recent years, having switched hands in each of the past three elections, but now it should go back to its most successful occupant—Steven Horsford.
In 2014, an anomaly of a year when Nevada voters sided overwhelmingly with Republicans, Horsford suffered a narrow loss to GOP candidate Cresent Hardy.
Horsford, the incumbent at the time, is now trying to win the seat again from the same candidate who took it from him.
He’s the best man to represent the district’s residents.
Hardy served briefly and unsuccessfully as a congressman and was voted out once for his disappointing tenure in favor of Rep. Ruben Kihuen. Kihuen, amid a sexual harassment allegation, announced he would not seek re-election.
This year, with the insight that comes with being able to examine both Horsford’s and Hardy’s congressional records, it’s clear that Horsford is the better candidate.
Rather than representing the interests of Nevada, Hardy voted consistently to harm the state. Hardy voted to repeal the Affordable Care Act, garnered an A rating from the National Rifle Association and expressed openness to resurrecting the Yucca Mountain nuclear waste repository project. Now, he’s expressed strong support for several pieces of President Donald Trump’s agenda, including his controversial tariffs and his immigration platform—which Hardy called “perfect.”
Horsford’s record includes voting to protect the ACA and co-sponsoring the House’s version of a comprehensive immigration reform bill that passed the Senate in 2013. House leadership blocked that measure from a vote, but it’s to Horsford’s credit that he was among its champions.
He’s also a hard-line opponent of the Yucca Mountain project and has called for sensible gun reforms that would include universal background checks, banning assault weapons and increasing funding for mental health.
Horsford, who underwent open heart bypass surgery in 2013, also has perspective on Americans’ frustrations with the nation’s health care system and the struggles of those with pre-existing conditions.
A superbly qualified candidate, Horsford should have won in 2014. This year, the district would be best served by his return to the House.