The race for the state Senate District 5 seat is packed with four candidates. Realistically though, it's a race between the incumbent, Republican Joe Heck, and the entire Democratic Party.
Shirley Breeden, the Democratic candidate for the seat, is a political newcomer who has shied away from interviews, debating the issues and campaigning.
But her party has taken up her cause, most notably filling mailboxes with ads accusing Heck of being more concerned with taking care of industry cronies than his constituents.
One flier says that Heck, a physician, "Voted 'No' to Cervical Cancer Screenings.''
Heck did oppose a bill that would have required insurance companies to cover a cervical cancer vaccine, saying it would have driven up the cost of health insurance and that he wasn't sure of the vaccine's efficacy.
Cancer screenings weren't part of the discussion.
Since the district is trending Democratic in voter registration, the party is more focused on this particular race, seeing it as an opportunity to gain a seat in the state Senate, where the Republicans hold an 11-10 advantage.
Heck, 46, who has held the seat since 2004, called the ads "part of the game."
"If you can't take the punch then you probably shouldn't be here, and my competitor has been missing in action,'' he said. "She refuses to debate the issues and she hasn't put out a platform. Her party has said she is not going to raise property taxes and is against gas-price gouging.
"Nobody is going to raise property taxes, and price gouging has never taken place in Nevada. In fact, the price of gas in Nevada is lower than the national average.''
The issues, he said, are providing better health care and education to citizens.
He said stability is needed in both areas, especially as it relates to accountability and funding.
Balancing the state's budget is also a priority, Heck said.
"My hope is that the process is much more deliberative and much more targeted,'' he said. "Looking back, there were certain programs which should have had less harm than others. That's what happens if you cut across the board.''
Breeden, who only responded to the Review-Journal after some intervention by the Democratic Party, said her top priorities, if elected, are also education and health care.
She also cited public safety as a priority.
The 52-year-old said she would like to initiate a Silver Alert system in Nevada which, similar to the Amber Alert system for children, would be an alert system for seniors if they go missing.
Breeden favors creating a system that would provide health care to each Nevadan and, like Heck, would like to see more accountability in education.
"I would like to make sure we're able to attract and retain qualified teachers," she said.
On balancing the budget, Breeden said a bipartisan effort needs to be made. "Everyone has to sit down and review the budget," she said.
"You cannot lay off teachers and state employees. ... You need to look for other services that have to be cut."
Tim Hagan, the Libertarian candidate, said his priority is the state's budget. He's also focused on lowering gasoline and property taxes.
"Right now, Nevada's gas tax is about 51 cents per gallon. I would like to bring it down to the national average,'' he said. "In terms of property taxes, I think they need to be lowered and capped.''
Hagan said the state needs to better control and regulate its marijuana initiative.
He said he disagreed with Heck during this last legislative session for sponsoring a bill that would increase penalties on people caught with a small amount of marijuana.
"If they're not doing any other crime other than carrying a small amount of marijuana, they need treatment" and should not locked up as criminals, he said. "We shouldn't be spending tax dollars on people who need treatment.''
Breeden and Heck said they would not favor laying off teachers should the need arise to let go of state employees. Hagen, on the other hand, said he would favor the action.
Candidate Tony "Grass Roots" Blanque did not return calls for comment.
Contact reporter Annette Wells at awells @reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0283.