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McCain backers speak out

A group of Republican small-business owners gathered Monday to voice support for Republican presidential candidate John McCain, saying the Arizona senator is the candidate they trust to protect their interests if elected.

“Small businesses will prosper under President John McCain,” businesswoman and former Lt. Gov. Lorraine Hunt said at a news conference at the Las Vegas Latin Chamber of Commerce. “He understands that small businesses are the backbone of the economy.”

Hunt, a failed 2006 gubernatorial candidate who owns Las Vegas’ Bootlegger restaurant, was one of 17 business people who appeared at the “Small Business Leaders for McCain” event. It was part of a national re-rollout of McCain’s economic policies that campaign officials said included similar events in 17 battleground states.

Speakers at the event cited McCain’s commitment to not raising payroll, estate or capital gains taxes, lowering gasoline prices and reining in government bureaucracy.

“I’m supporting Senator John McCain for president because I believe he understands the importance of small business being able to operate in an environment that’s tax-friendly,” said Ken Krynski, owner of American Child Care Properties, a local real estate developer and builder.

Hunt pitched the event as drawing together business people across the partisan spectrum, saying, “We are here today, Republicans, Democrats and independents, to lend our voice in support of a man we believe in.” However, questioning revealed there were no Democrats in the group, which contained several Republican Party officials.

A spokeswoman for McCain’s Democratic opponent, Illinois Sen. Barack Obama, disputed claims that Obama would make life more difficult for small businesses.

“Nevadans want an honest debate, and the truth is that Senator Obama won’t raise taxes on small businesses,” Shannon Gilson said.

While Obama’s plans call for tax increases on high earners and raising the capital-gains rate, Gilson said the proposals mostly exempt small-business owners.

Contact reporter Molly Ball at mball@reviewjournal.com or 702-387-2919.

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