Hardy gains top Nevada GOP endorsements in race for Congress

Assemblyman Cresent Hardy’s campaign for Congress got a boost with the endorsement from Nevada’s Republican leaders.

Hardy, R-Mesquite, is the latest candidate to be anointed by GOP Gov. Brian Sandoval, who is making his run for re-election in 2014 a team sport.

Other Republicans backing Hardy are U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki, U.S. Rep. Mark Amodei and former Clark County Commissioner Bruce Woodbury.

“I’m proud and honored to have earned the endorsements of the most prominent Republican leaders in Nevada,” Hardy said in a statement. “The trust that each of them has placed in me is something that I take very seriously, and for which I am genuinely thankful.”

Hardy was elected to the Assembly in 2010 and was re-elected in 2012. He said he would bring a much-needed outsider view to Congress, which is highly unpopular with voters these days.

“Serving in local government and then the state Assembly has given me a perspective that I believe we desperately need in Congress,” Hardy said. “None of us are right all of the time, and a little bit of respect and honest cooperation goes a long way.”

Hardy might face a GOP primary as he runs for the 4th Congressional District, which covers a vast area of Nevada — parts of Clark, Douglas and Lyon counties and all of Esmeralda, Lincoln, Mineral, Nye and White Pine counties.

Republican Niger Innis, an African-American civil rights advocate, is considering running as well.

The seat is held by freshman Democrat Steven Horsford, the former Nevada Senate majority leader and Nevada’s first African-American congressman. He won the state’s newest congressional district in 2012.

Horsford, as the incumbent and a Democrat, has a big advantage in the race. The district has nearly 41,000 more registered Democratic voters than Republican voters, and more than four-fifths of the district’s population lives in Clark County, where Horsford grew up.

— Laura Myers


A new bipartisan bill from U.S. Sens. Harry Reid and Dean Heller of Nevada to protect sage grouse habitat in Nevada is being well received by conservation groups, sportsmen and women and business leaders, the Nevada Conservation League reported.

The Nevada Sagebrush Landscape Conservation and Economic Development Act was announced Friday by the two Nevada lawmakers.

“In Nevada we’ve been working hard to conserve sage grouse,” said Nevada Assembly Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick, D-North Las Vegas. “This is a positive development that will assist us enormously.”

The bill would protect important sage grouse habitats in Nevada. Sage grouse populations have been declining across the West, and the U.S. Fish &Wildlife Service could add the bird to the endangered species list in 2015.

That would protect sage grouse habitat and could help prevent the need for federal sage grouse protections. The legislation would also provide economic certainty to Nevada businesses if the bird is listed under the Endangered Species Act.

“Protecting these areas is good for the Nevada outdoor recreation economy, which is responsible for $14.9 billion in consumer spending and more than 140,000 jobs,” said April Mastroluca of the Nevada Conservation League, citing data from the Outdoor Industry Association. “These protections guarantee more places to get outside and play — and spend money — a win-win situation for Nevada.”

Willie Molini, a sportsman and retired director of the Nevada Department of Wildlife, welcomed the legislation. “Sage grouse habitat is used by more than just the grouse,” he said. “This bill protects quality hunting and fishing lands for mule deer and bighorn sheep as well.”

The bill also contains provisions aimed at bolstering renewable energy development and would establish a sagebrush restoration fund that can restore damaged sage grouse habitat.

“As a renewable energy developer, Ormat has closely watched sage grouse policy evolve,” said Bob Sullivan, vice president of business development for Ormat Technologies Inc., based in Reno.

“In developing conservation regulation, Sens. Reid and Heller met face-to-face with local energy professionals assuring our interests are heard,” Sullivan said. “We commend their commitment to preserving sage grouse habitat while promoting economic development in Nevada.”

— Sean Whaley


Nevada Democrats continue to solidify their candidate list for the upcoming 2014 general election, with Clark County Deputy Public Defender Steve Yeager announcing his candidacy this week for the Assembly District 9 seat in Las Vegas.

The seat is held by Assemblyman Andrew Martin, a Democrat who is expected to run for state controller.

Yeager began working at the public defender’s office in 2009 and was an advocate for the office during the 2013 legislative session. Before that, he was an attorney at an international law firm for nearly five years.

He has the endorsement of the Assembly Democratic Caucus.

“Nevada Assembly Democrats are excited to stand behind Steve Yeager in his run for Assembly District 9,” said Assembly Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick, D-North Las Vegas. “Steve has a track record as a hard worker and consensus builder.”

She called Yeager “a committed workhorse” who will be able to work with both parties to find solutions to Clark County and statewide issues.

Yeager said the Legislature “must focus on improving the economy, helping our small businesses, and bettering educational opportunities for our children.”

Yeager was born in Minnesota and raised in Michigan. He received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Michigan and his law degree from Cornell University. He has been married to his wife, Bita, since May 2013.

— Sean Whaley

Contact reporter Laura Myers at lmyers@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2919. Follow her on Twitter @lmyerslvrj. Contact Capital Bureau reporter Sean Whaley at swhaley@reviewjournal.com or 775-687-3900. Follow him on Twitter @seanw801.