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Mailers target Hambrick over support of $1.5 billion tax package

Assembly Speaker John Hambrick is the target of mailers blasting his role in supporting $1.5 billion in new and extended sunset taxes for public education that the Legislature passed in 2015.

The mailers, paid for by New Majority PAC, based in Sparks, urge voters in Assembly District 2 not to vote for Hambrick, a Republican seeking another two-year term. The PAC is tied to Assemblyman Ira Hansen, R-Sparks, a legislator who strongly opposed the tax package during the legislative session.

“Broken campaign promises are costing taxpayers $1.5 BILLION DOLLARS,” the mailer, bearing a Sparks P.O. Box, says in bright red and black lettering. “This election — REJECT JOHN HAMBRICK — we can’t AFFORD his LEADERSHIP.”

New Majority PAC received $55,000 in contributions from Jan. 1 though May 20. The group spent $25,149.92 in that same time period, most of it on advertising, filings show. Hansen’s campaign put $500 toward the effort.

The mailer doesn’t offer any alternative candidates to support in the June 14 Republican primaries. Hambrick, a retired law enforcement investigator, faces a GOP primary challenge from Clayton Kelly Hurst, a real estate agent.

Specifically, the mailers target Hambrick for violating a so-called “taxpayer protection pledge” he signed in 2012.

Hambrick has defended his vote, saying new taxes weren’t an option when he signed the pledge because the state was in a severe recession. He has said the vote was the right thing to do to reform and improve education.

Hambrick said he’s seen the mailer, adding he’ll be sending out his own. The difference: His will stay positive, he said.

“I don’t go negative,” Hambrick said, adding that’s always been his approach.

Hambrick said his district’s voters are familiar with him, regardless of the mailer.

“They know me,” said Hambrick, first elected in 2008. “I’m a known commodity.”

Hambrick’s campaign has received $50,650 between Jan. 1 and May 20 and spent $32,995.14 in that time period, filings show.

Contact Ben Botkin at bbotkin@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2904. Find him on Twitter: @BenBotkin1

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