Democrats outnumber Republicans 2-to-1 in Assembly District 10, but in 2014 the seat went to Republican Shelly Shelton when she successfully challenged the Democratic candidate’s residency. Shelton is up for re-election this year.
That shouldn’t be an issue this election as both Democrats running in the primary have deep roots in the district although it is the first time either has run for public office.
German Castellanos has lived in the district most of his life except for four years in Los Angeles attending the University of Southern California and a year working as an environmental advocate and a teacher.
He returned to live in his parents’ home in the district in 2014 to work as an organizer for Fight for 15 Las Vegas, the local branch of a national organization trying to raise the minimum wage in each state to $15 an hour. He sees the run for office as the logical step in trying to create positive change.
“I’ve seen that you need to be inside, making the laws to really change the way things are,” Castellanos said.
He has been hitting the pavement in his grass-roots campaign, going door to door trying to get the word out.
Chris Brooks boasts that all of his grandparents and his parents lived in the district. He has had four homes and started a business there. He had to drop out of high school to make ends meet and later earned his GED certificate.
“I support the $15 minimum wage,” Brooks said. “Working people need to be able to support their families. I believe in a living wage for all Nevadans. The beauty of Las Vegas is that you can become successful and achieve your dreams despite your background and income level.”
He became an electrician’s apprentice for his grandfather’s business right out of high school and eventually started one of the valley’s first rooftop solar business before combining his efforts with Bombard Electric to form Bombard Renewable Energy in 2004. He served as the company’s director until 2014 when he became an executive vice president of the Valley Electric Association, an electrical co-op utility. He stepped down this year to become a consultant and devote more time to the campaign.
“I used to be on the board of the Nevada Conservation League and I’ve been in renewable energy for the last 16 years, Brooks said. “Environmental issues are something I feel strongly about.”
The opponents are friendly. After a recent informal meeting, each praised the other’s character.
Contact F. Andrew Taylor at 702-380-4532 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Occupation: Energy consultant