weather icon Clear

Dan Schwartz will challenge Susie Lee for Congress in 2020

Former state Treasurer Dan Schwartz announced Tuesday he will run against freshman Democratic Rep. Susie Lee for the 3rd Congressional District in 2020.

In an interview following his announcement, Schwartz said his most important reason for joining the race was what he characterized as Democratic attacks on a free-market economy.

“Susie Lee marches in step with (Speaker) Nancy Pelosi and the democratic socialists,” Schwartz said. “They want to undo the most successful economy in the world and maybe in history.”

Schwartz served as treasurer from 2015-19 before mounting an unsuccessful primary challenge to then-Attorney General Adam Laxalt in the 2018 gubernatorial primary. He previously ran for Congress in the 4th District in 2012 and finished fourth in a Republican primary that saw Danny Tarkanian secure the nomination. Lee defeated Tarkanian in the 3rd District in 2018.

He also owns a digital media company that operates in Asia, Europe and the United States. Schwartz is a U.S. Army veteran.

Lee’s campaign responded to the announcement in a statement saying “the last thing Southern Nevada needs is a rubber stamp” for President Donald Trump’s agenda.

“Congresswoman Lee is confident that her bipartisan, problem-solving efforts to increase public education funding, lower health care costs, and advocate on behalf of Southern Nevada veterans will continue to resonate with voters” her campaign said. “Dan Schwartz, on the other hand, has been overwhelmingly rejected even by his own party in multiple elections.”

The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee also attacked Schwartz in a statement.

“Schwartz’s long history of Nevada’s voters rejecting not only him but his values time and again says all you need to know about how Nevada voters really feel about another Schwartz candidacy,” spokesman Andy Orellana said.

The National Republican Congressional Committee spokeswoman Torunn Sinclair said the party does not comment on specific campaigns until after the primary election, which is in June. In February, Lee’s district was among the initial 55 announced as 2020 Republican targets.

The 3rd District, which includes Summerlin, Green Valley and Boulder City, currently is nearly evenly divided, with 36.3 percent Democrats, 34.7 percent Republicans and 23 percent registered as non-partisan.

But while not commenting on Schwartz’s candidacy, the Republican congressional organization did denounce Lee.

“Susie Lee’s refusal to stand up to her socialist Democrat colleagues in Congress will cost her this congressional seat,” Sinclair said. “If Lee won’t disavow Medicare for All, the Green New Deal and impeachment — she’s supporting it.”

Sinclair said Trump carried the district in 2016, and the party expects a similar turnout this election cycle.

In his interview, Schwartz criticized the Democratic-controlled House for being unable to pass a budget, saying party leaders can’t agree on anything that would offend its far-left members. He criticized the Democratic party as a whole for moving further to the left.

“Just watch the presidential debates,” he said. “It’s basically a race to see who can give out the most free stuff.”

Schwartz said the Republican party could also do a better job marketing itself as an advocate for capitalism.

But Schwartz claims he isn’t your typical Republican. He says he supports universal preschool and pay raises for teachers — two key points in many 2020 Democratic presidential candidate platforms — as well as educational tracking, saying he doesn’t understand why more Republicans don’t come out in favor of these ideas.

“Having been the treasurer and ran the college saving accounts — these are not partisan issues,” Schwartz said. “I think they’re just tired of big government, and I agree with that, but there are ways to do it.”

Schwartz said that while he opposes most of the Affordable Care Act and particularly its individual mandate, he supports its protections for pre-existing conditions and allowing children to stay on their parents’ insurance until they turn 26.

He said the Republican tax plan was a boon for corporations, which he would not change, but he feels the party could do more for the middle class in its tax laws.

When asked if Trump’s tenure would affect his campaign, given Lee’s victory as part of a 2018 Democratic anti-Trump surge in the House, Schwartz said he wasn’t sure.

“I think it did play a role in the last election. There was a lot of anti-Trump feeling in the district,” Schwartz said. “I support our president. He is running for president, and I am running for Congress. My platform is that I oppose what Pelosi and the democratic socialists are trying to do to our country.”


Contact Rory Appleton at rappleton@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0276. Follow @RoryDoesPhonics on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Politics Videos
Assemblywoman Daniele Monroe-Moreno hosts BBQ - Video
Assembly Woman Daniele Monroe-Moreno hosts BBQ to bring the community together to hear about the candidates up for election and for people to gather and have fun.
Democrat Virtual Caucus - Video
Elizabeth Warren visits Las Vegas
Senator Elizabeth Warren made a campaign stop at the East Las Vegas Community Center on Tuesday July 2, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Aaron Ford Speaks About Bill AB431
AB431 is a bill sponsored by Nevada Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson to restore the right to vote for formerly incarcerated individuals. Attorney General Aaron Ford spoke at the AM&E Church in North Las Vegas about the bill, on Monday, July 1, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Right Take: Biden's Racially Questionable Comments
Joe Biden has uttered racially charged statements for years. Now that he’s the frontrunner for the Democrat presidential nomination, he may finally face prolonged scrutiny for them.
Christopher Rufo Discusses Homelessness In The USA - VIDEO
Christopher Rufo discusses homelessness in the United States and how politicians can work to improve conditions for those with drug addictions.
Clark County 2019 Election Results - Video
The 2019 Elections wrap up in Clark County including an upset in the Boulder City Mayor race.
Olivia Diaz talks about her win in Ward 3 - VIDEO
Las Vegas City Councilwoman-elect Olivia Diaz talks about her election win in Ward 3 and what lies ahead for her.
Greene discusses Read by 3 and Opportunity Scholarships - VIDEO
The Nevada Legislative Session is over and the results are mixed for Nevada students, according to Tom Greene, Senior regional legislative director, Excel in Ed in Action.
Bernie Sanders visits Las Vegas
Sen. Bernie Sanders made a stop at Roy W. Martin middle school on Thursday, during his campaign trail.
Kamala Harris campaigns in Las Vegas
Democratic Sen. Kamala Harris castigated President Donald Trump’s merit-based immigration plan, saying it was “short-sighted” and overlooked the cultural significance of family, during a campaign stop in Las Vegas. “We cannot allow people to start parsing and pointing fingers and creating hierarchies among immigrants,” Harris told Asian Pacific Islander leaders at a Chinatown restaurant, one of two appearances she made Thursday.
The Right Take New Education Funding Plan - VIDEO
On Monday, Senate Education Committee chair Mo Denis, D-Las Vegas, released a new education funding formula. For years, many Democrat politicians have criticized the current education funding formula, called the Nevada Plan. They claim it’s old and outdated. Their biggest beef is that it doesn’t allocate more money for students who are English Language Learners or live in poverty. The theory is that it’s harder to educate those students and so they need additional services, which costs additional money.
Kamala Harris campaigns in Nevada
California Senator Kamala Harris meets with One APIA Nevada, a nonprofit organization that advocates for policies empowering Asian Pacific Islander Nevadans. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Ben Carson talks housing (Audio only)
Ben Carson discusses housing with the Review-Journal editorial board on Thursday. (Audio only)
Ben Carson visits the RJ (Full Audio Only)
Ben Carson discusses housing with the Review-Journal editorial board on Thursday. (Audio only)
Former Vice President Joe Biden campaigns in Nevada
After campaigning at the International Union of Painters and Allied Trades District Council 16 in Henderson, former Vice President Joe Biden spoke with the Review-Journal.
Student serenades Mayor Carolyn Goodman at swearing in
Students from the school she founded, The Meadows School, serenaded Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman during a swearing in ceremony for her third and final term. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Al Gore Speaks At UNLV About Climate Change - Video
Former Vice President of the United States Al Gore talks to an audience at UNLV about the effects of Climate change and how to switch to renewable sources of energy.
Forum on Wages and Working People Highlights - VIDEO
Presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren, Beto O'Rourke, Kamala Harris, Amy Klobuchar, Julian Castro, and John Hickenlooper speak in Las Vegas, Nevada.
Nevada Politics Today Valerie Weber - VIDEO
Valerie Weber sits down with Victor Joecks to discuss her policies and why she is running for Ward 2 of the Las Vegas City Council.
Cory Booker speaks at UNLV
US Senator Cory Booker speaks at UNLV during a Young Democrats meet and greet on Thursday, April 18, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
May-Brown describes why some with disabilities need the subminimum wage - VIDEO
Eliminating the subminimum wage will end training and work opportunities for some members of the disabled community. Instead of doing something productive, they would be relegated to adult day care. That’s according to Tracy May-Brown, Opportunity Village’s director of advocacy, board and government relations.
Commission’s decision will delay Red Rock Canyon development
The Clark County Commission Wednesday rejected a developer’s request to approve a preliminary plan for 3,000 homes overlooking Red Rock Canyon before a federal agency grants permission for a roadway leading to the site.
HHS says abortion restrictions effective immediately

Planned Parenthood and other family-planning providers are suing the Trump administration to overturn the regulations.

Epstein accusers urge judge to keep him in jail until trial

Financier Jeffrey Epstein will remain behind bars for now as a federal judge mulls whether to grant bail on charges he sexually abused underage girls.