Voter registration in two of Nevada's congressional districts so favors one major party over the other that those races often are essentially forfeited, the underdog Democrats fielding only token opposition in Reno and Elko's 2nd District, the Republicans generally doing the same in Las Vegas' 1st District.
So it's a refreshing surprise to encounter Republican Chris Edwards, a Notre Dame graduate who recently retired as a commander after 25 years in the U.S. Navy, running for Nevada's 1st Congressional District.
He served as the chief of staff for Navy Region SW Asia, which led to a multi-year follow-up post supporting expeditionary bases in Africa and the Middle East. For five years, he was a program manager for the secretary of the Air Force, gaining hands-on experience with federal budget planning and contract administration.
His Democratic opponent, former UNLV political science professor Dina Titus, served 20 years in the Nevada Senate before being elected to the U.S. House in 2008 in the 3rd District. She was defeated in her 2010 re-election bid by Rep. Joe Heck. During her two years in Washington, Mr. Edwards points out, Ms. Titus' vows to be an "independent, fiscally conservative" Democrat quickly transformed into voting "with Nancy Pelosi 97 percent of the time." She voted for both ObamaCare and the $800 billion in stimulus spending that failed to juice the economy but ended up contributing to our soaring debt.
Mr. Edwards, who moved to Nevada in 2002, wants to create jobs through "pro-growth, pro-business policies," to "eliminate and prevent excessive regulations that strangle small businesses and stand in the way of job creation." He would "promote policies that will bring energy costs down" and would "fight for a simpler and fairer tax system - lower rates and fewer loopholes so Washington insiders can't use the tax code to reward favored businesses."
Challenged on the notion that a career Naval officer would ever actually trim defense spending, Mr. Edwards insists that a lot of waste could be trimmed without hurting preparedness.
In the end, the Democratic voter registration edge in the 1st District may prove too much even for Mr. Edwards to overcome. But he's the best candidate in this race. The Review-Journal endorses the articulate and confident Chris Edwards in Nevada's 1st Congressional District.