Four of the seven Democrats vying to replace U.S. Rep. Jacky Rosen in Congress said during a debate Tuesday that they support universal health care for all Americans.
The candidates — insurance agent Jack Love, information technology developer Michael Weiss, business owner Richard Hart and waiter Eric Stoltz — faced off at a debate hosted by progressive group Paradise Las Vegas Indivisible.
The most prominent Democrat in the race, nonprofit leader Susie Lee, couldn’t attend because of scheduling conflicts. Guy Pinjuv and Steven Schiffman also did not attend.
The two-hour forum kicked off with each candidate introducing themselves before taking unscripted questions from the audience of several dozen people at the Center for Science &Wonder on East Sunset Road.
Hart, who claimed he’s the most progressive candidate, said he’s running for the 3rd Congressional District because he’s “tired” of the establishment politics he sees in Washington.
Love said he wants “quash Republicans” — whom he called “ruthless” — and hopes to keep the district blue.
Stoltz said he has no political experience but wants to end the war on drugs and abolish the death penalty.
Weiss, who told the crowd he has Asperger’s syndrome, said he was inspired to run after President Donald Trump’s election in 2016.
All four candidates said they have refused corporate contributions and that they support campaign finance reform to take money out of politics. They all support a universal health care system, which they said would increase coverage and reduce costs.
“That’s the only way we can control any kind of costs,” Love said. “The corporate Democrats who say they will fix the Affordable Care Act are full of it. They’re either lying or naive.”
When asked about climate change, Stoltz said he would strengthen the solar industry in Nevada. “We have an entire party that isn’t even admitting this is a problem yet,” he said.
Weiss said he supports legislation to ban fracking. Love said climate change can be combated by increasing green energy and changing Nevada’s infrastructure.
Hart said he would push to get the U.S. back into the Paris climate agreement and invest in renewable energy.
“It’s not ‘fake news’ like the other side says,” Hart said. “It’s a threat, and it’s going to hit us sooner than later.”
The four candidates also weighed in on the GOP tax plan. Hart said it’s critical that Democrats win back the House this year, and he urged voters to get behind the district’s Democratic nominee, even if it’s not him.
Love said the tax plan is “terrible,” and Weiss said that loopholes that allow corporations to skirt taxes must be eliminated.
“The more complicated you make the tax code, the easier it is to exploit for those who have the money and resources to exploit it,” Weiss said.
Stoltz agreed by saying the corporate exemptions are “completely unacceptable.”
The primary election is June 12. The 3rd Congressional District spans south of Las Vegas and includes Henderson and much of unincorporated Clark County.
Contact Ramona Giwargis at email@example.com or 702-380-4538. Follow @RamonaGiwargis on Twitter.