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Assembly District 13

There is a lot riding on the outcome of the Republican primary in Assembly District 13. Whoever gets the most votes in the June 14 primary won’t just advance to the general election. He’ll do so as the assured winner, needing only one vote in November to claim the seat.

A law change passed by the 2015 Legislature says if only Republicans or only Democratic candidates file for a race — and there are no third-party or independent contenders — partisan primary voters have the final say.

The person who gets the most votes in the primary will appear in November as uncontested.

Incumbent Majority Leader Paul Anderson is hoping his Republican constituents in his Las Vegas district will propel him to victory.

His opponents, Steven Sanson and Leonard Foster, are trying to tap into anger from the far right to oust Anderson over his support of a $4.5 billion tax package passed by the Legislature.

Foster and Sanson support legalizing recreational use of marijuana, which will appear on the ballot as Question 2. Anderson is opposed.

Anderson, seeking a third term, doesn’t think his support of taxes to help fund Gov. Brian Sandoval’s education agenda will be a negative.

“When it comes to taxes, my constituents wanted to fix education,” Anderson said.

“The education reforms and investment that we made — now seeing some of those results in my own district are very satisfying,” Anderson said.

Anderson, who was chairman of the Assembly Ways and Means Committee, said the tax doesn’t hurt small businesses. It kicks in when a company has $4 million or more in annual revenue and was intended to collect revenue from large corporations such as Wal-Mart.

“I have yet to be asked about the tax at the door,” he said of campaigning. “That’s just not an issue that comes up.”

But Sanson and Foster said Anderson’s support is a slap to voters who overwhelmingly rejected a business margins tax on the November 2014 ballot.

Sanson, president for Veterans in Politics International and host of a weekly radio show, said voters feel betrayed.

“We helped him get elected and then helped him get re-elected,” Sanson said, adding he had no intention of running until Anderson voted for the taxes.

Sanson ran unsuccessfully for Las Vegas City Council and Clark County public administrator.

Foster, who owns a water treatment company, said the commerce tax is “bad for Nevada, bad for business and it needs to go.”

“Once you have a tax like this it’s hard to get rid of. It will become a de facto income tax,” he said.

Foster ran unsuccessfully for the District 13 seat in 2008, 2010 and 2012.

Contact Sandra Chereb at schereb@reviewjournal.com or 775-461-3821. Find @SandraChereb on Twitter.

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