88°F
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
Trumps Strength is also a Weakness - Video
One of Donald Trump’s greatest strengths — his ability to shape national narratives — is also a great weakness.
Tax the Rich Bus Tour makes a stop in Las Vegas - Video
The Tax the Rich Bus has stopped in Las Vegas as part of its summer tour. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
THE LATEST
Joe Biden leads fundraising in Nevada

Joe Biden, the former vice president, outpaced all his Democratic rivals for the 2020 presidential nomination in Nevada fundraising in the second quarter of 2019.

US’s ‘remain in Mexico’ expanded to dangerous part of border

The U.S. government on Friday expanded its policy requiring asylum seekers to wait outside the country to one of Mexico’s most dangerous cities, where thousands of people are already camped.

British say Iran seizes 2 vessels in Strait of Hormuz

Iran’s Revolutionary Guard says it has seized a British oil tanker that was passing through the Strait of Hormuz.

Dems questioning Mueller will focus on obstruction

Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee who will question former special counsel Robert Mueller next week plan to focus on a narrow set of episodes laid out in his report.

County commission cautiously open to working with school district

The Clark County Commission on Thursday signaled a cautious willingness to partner with the Clark County School District on education initiatives that would be funded through a potential quarter-percent sales tax, but stressed the need for accountability, information and easier public access to school grounds.