weather icon Clear

Nevada governor candidates speak at Las Vegas forum

A forum featuring three of Nevada’s gubernatorial candidates covered several topics Tuesday night in Las Vegas, but it did little to move the needle for some voters.

“They all said the same thing,” said Cheryl Rosenzweig, a physical therapist who has lived in Nevada for 21 years. “It was hard to distinguish between them, and I’m not really sure what the difference is.”

The three candidates were Clark County Commissioners Chris Giunchigliani and Steve Sisolak — both Democrats — and Republican state Treasurer Dan Schwartz. Another prominent Republican candidate, Attorney General Adam Laxalt, did not attend because of scheduling conflicts, organizers said.

The nonpartisan, nonprofit Nevadans for the Common Good hosted the hourlong forum at St. Elizabeth Ann Seton Catholic Church. The event focused on five policy areas: housing and homelessness, health care, public education, public transportation and immigration.

On health care, all the candidates said they would maintain current Medicaid benefits in Nevada and fight efforts to roll back coverage. Giunchigliani said she also supports universal health care.

“Health care is a right, not a privilege,” she told the crowd of nearly 600. “I will fight Trump and anybody trying to roll back the (Affordable Care Act). We need to move toward universal health care, and I plan on doing that as governor.”

The candidates were asked if they would ensure tax revenue from recreational marijuana sales goes to public education. The question opened a can of worms about the controversial Raiders stadium planned near the south Strip.

All three candidates said they support ensuring the money goes toward education, but Schwartz pointed to the stadium — supported by Sisolak — as an example of wasted tax dollars that could be used to improve schools.

“We are not near the bottom. We are at the bottom of this country’s schools,” Schwartz said. “Why are we spending $750 million to build a football stadium?”

Sisolak fired back, saying the stadium is expected to bring 45,000 new jobs and $35 million in annual tax revenue to the state.

“That could go for education or other purposes,” Sisolak said. “It’s a win-win for everyone that’s involved.”

All three candidates said they support improving transportation services in Nevada, though Schwartz argued that a new source of revenue might be needed, such as raising taxes. He said Nevada is “broke” as a state and “there is no room for expansion.”

On the topic of affordable housing, Schwartz suggested looking for new revenue sources, while Sisolak proposed acquiring federal land and working with homebuilders to sell them the land at a reduced rate. Giunchigliani suggested cutting red tape for developers and streamlining the building process.

The candidates all said they would work to improve public transportation and support immigrants.

Though the candidates’ positions seemed similar, Rosenzweig said, she’s leaning toward Giunchigliani. “I’m in favor of getting more women into public service and public positions,” she said.

There are six Democrats and seven Republicans running for governor. The primary election is June 12.

Contact Ramona Giwargis at rgiwargis@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4538. Follow @RamonaGiwargis on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Politics Videos
Bernie Sanders Unveils Affordable Housing Plan - Video
Bernie Sanders sits down with the Las Vegas Review-Journal to talk about his new affordable housing plan he unveiled at Plumbers & Pipefitters.
Jim Marchant talks gun control and Dreamers - Video
Republican Candidate for District 4 Jim Marchant talks about gun control and immigration policies. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Hurricanes, Gender, and Science in the Press
Imagine if the mainstream media’s current hurricane-sized obsession with scientific accuracy applied to gender.
Cory Booker on college tuition and minimum wage
Cory Booker talks on the RJ Politics podcast about college debt, informing workers about their rights and livable wages.
Nevada Politics Today: Teacher raises - VIDEO
Jason Goudie, the chief financial officer for the Clark County School District, talks about teacher pay and raises. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Media's Double Standard On Incitement And Trump - Video
Over the weekend, an Elizabeth Warren-supporting socialist who opposed gun violence used a rifle to commit a mass murder in Dayton, Ohio. The media has downplayed that aspect of the tragedy.
Project Our Care Tour Kicks Off In Las Vegas
U.S. Rep. Dina Titus joined health care advocates and local residents as part of Protect Our Care’s nationwide bus tour kick off in Las Vegas on Monday, August 5, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Bernie Sanders talks about guns, response to El Paso shooting
Sen. Bernie Sanders spoke about his response and continued policy ideas about guns and gun control to the Review-Journal after a panel of other topics. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pete Buttigieg On Gun Control And Climate Change - Video
Pete Buttigieg talks about his campaign for the 2020 election and how Nevada is a vision of what the future can be.
Beto O'Rourke speaks in Las Vegas
Presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke spoke to supporters at the East Las Vegas Community Center in Las Vegas, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2019. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former Nevada Senate leader Kelvin Atkinson sentenced to prison
Former Nevada Senate Majority Leader Kelvin Atkinson, who pleaded guilty to misusing campaign funds, was sentenced to 27 months in prison on Thursday, July 18, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Trumps Strength is also a Weakness - Video
One of Donald Trump’s greatest strengths — his ability to shape national narratives — is also a great weakness.
Tax the Rich Bus Tour makes a stop in Las Vegas - Video
The Tax the Rich Bus has stopped in Las Vegas as part of its summer tour. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Assemblywoman Daniele Monroe-Moreno hosts BBQ - Video
Assembly Woman Daniele Monroe-Moreno hosts BBQ to bring the community together to hear about the candidates up for election and for people to gather and have fun.
Democrat Virtual Caucus - Video
Elizabeth Warren visits Las Vegas
Senator Elizabeth Warren made a campaign stop at the East Las Vegas Community Center on Tuesday July 2, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Aaron Ford Speaks About Bill AB431
AB431 is a bill sponsored by Nevada Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson to restore the right to vote for formerly incarcerated individuals. Attorney General Aaron Ford spoke at the AM&E Church in North Las Vegas about the bill, on Monday, July 1, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Right Take: Biden's Racially Questionable Comments
Joe Biden has uttered racially charged statements for years. Now that he’s the frontrunner for the Democrat presidential nomination, he may finally face prolonged scrutiny for them.
Christopher Rufo Discusses Homelessness In The USA - VIDEO
Christopher Rufo discusses homelessness in the United States and how politicians can work to improve conditions for those with drug addictions.
Trump aides heading to Nevada Basque Fry

Several current and former aides to President Donald Trump are headed to the annual Basque Fry, an event sponsored by former Republican Attorney General Adam Laxalt.