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Assembly District 9

Assemblyman David Gardner is proud of his efforts during his freshman year in the 2015 Nevada Legislature. He sponsored the bill to break up the Clark County School District and backed the new school choice law allowing parents to tap into state funding to pay for private school tuition.

But as he seeks re-election in District 9, Gardner is fending off Republican primary challengers who claim he’s not conservative enough and thwarted the wishes of constituents by voting for a $1.5 billion tax package to support Gov. Brian Sandoval’s budget and education agenda.

“I ran on fixing the economy,” Gardner said. “The main thing I ran on was fixing K-12.”

Gardner doesn’t shy from his tax vote. “The nice thing is I get to explain it,” he said.

“I think some people are purposely distorting what happened for political gain,” he said.

Gardner is challenged by Diana Orrock, a Nevada GOP national committeewoman, and Minddie Lloyd, an assistant to Clark County District Judge William Kephart.

“I think a lot of politicians have lost sight of what they’re supposed to be doing,” Orrock said. “They’re supposed to be representative of the people who elected them, not the lobbyists.” She decided to run after Gardner supported the tax package.

“If that wasn’t a slap in the face to the voters in Nevada I don’t know what is,” she said.

Orrock said Nevada’s school choice law was a good first step but she wants to eliminate a requirement that children first attend public school for 100 days before accessing funding.

“As soon as you interject that competition into the public school system, it’s going to cause improvements to be made,” she said.

Lloyd did not respond to interview requests. But in comments submitted for a questionnaire for the newspaper’s online site, Lloyd said she opposes recreational use of marijuana but supports the public’s right to vote on the matter.

Lloyd, the wife of a police lieutenant, said she does not support Question 1 mandating background checks for all gun sales and transfers.

“If I believed passing one more gun law would solve the problem, I would consider it,” she wrote.

The winner of the June 14 Republican primary could face a tough contest in November against Democratic nominee Steve Yeager, a deputy public defender in the Clark County public defender’s office. District 9 leans Democratic, although more than 6,000 nonpartisan voters will play a key role in deciding the outcome.

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

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