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GOP’s Drew Johnson takes aim at Susie Lee for US House seat

Conservative policy analyst and unsuccessful Clark County Commission candidate Drew Johnson announced Thursday his 2024 bid for the U.S. House of Representatives seat held by Democratic Rep. Susie Lee.

“I’ve been effective in holding Republicans and Democrats both accountable for wasteful spending and corruption,” Johnson said. “What we need as a country is someone who will really focus on making sure the federal government runs better.”

Johnson joins former Nevada state Sen. Elizabeth Helgelien in the Republican primary field.

The Republican columnist ran a close race for Clark County Commission in 2022, ultimately losing to incumbent Justin Jones by just 336 votes. After the loss, Johnson conceded the race and did not request a recount, although he criticized the Nevada Republican Party for leading voters to believe the election was rigged, resulting in fewer Republicans voting with mail ballots.

As a senior fellow at the think tanks National Center for Public Policy Research and the R Street Institute — where he focuses on wasteful spending, taxes and regulatory burdens — Johnson said he will prioritize tackling the federal budget if elected. He wants to examine spending bills and find areas that can be cut to address inflation, cut taxes and “make it easier for people to live their American Dream,” he said.

Johnson also wants to bridge the gap between Republicans and Democrats and turn down “the temperature of the country.”

“We don’t need politicians who are pitting tribes against each other, who are not listening to people who don’t agree with them,” Johnson said. “So the first thing I want to do is make every constituent know that they’re heard.”

On water, Johnson wants to fight for Nevada’s “fair share of water.” When asked about gun-related legislation, Johnson said he wants the federal government to be more involved in mental health programs. Regarding immigration, Johnson said he wants to make sure the border is secure, but also wants to make it easier for immigrants to come to the U.S. legally.

Johnson’s list of Republican endorsements include Nevada Controller Andy Matthews, state Sens. Scott Hammond and Jeff Stone, Assemblywoman Danielle Gallant and former Nevada Gov. Robert List.

What will make this run for office different from the last time? Johnson said he and Republicans will have to up their get-out-the-vote campaigns, knock on more doors and encourage people to “ballot harvest,” or help people bring their completed mail ballots to the drop box.

“We have to let people know that in Nevada, the only way your vote won’t count is if you don’t vote,” Johnson said.

Contact Jessica Hill at jehill@reviewjournal.com. Follow @jess_hillyeah on Twitter.

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