Updated August 24, 2023 - 12:10 pm
In a crowded GOP primary race for the U.S. Senate, one candidate is hoping to beat the establishment and return the party to its core values.
Bill Conrad, a retired U.S. Army Lt. Col. who has served as a city councilman and deputy mayor for the California City of Modesto, has lived in Nevada for more than a decade. Conrad is also the president of the National Association of Podcasters, which he founded in 2017, and has also worked behind the scenes at Republican events in Nevada since 2014.
In 2022, he tossed his hat into the Senate GOP primary, where he received 1.5 percent of the vote.
“That sort of got me going, and then the next cycle I said, ‘You know, I’d like to see what I could really do,” he said.
Conrad wants to “beat the establishment” by winning the Republican primary and returning the party to its core values that focus on the concerns of everyday Americans. He also wants to help end America’s political division.
“I’d like to see us come back together like in the ‘80s and ‘90s, where you had different sides,” he said. “Tip O’Neill and Reagan could get along and talk even if they had different belief systems, but they were still trying to build the United States up and not fight.”
His biggest goal, if elected, would be to prevent war, he said. He thinks a war with China is imminent and the country’s biggest threat.
Conrad has extensive experience in the military, having served in the military off-and-on since 1989. His most recent tour was in the Army from 2010 to 2013 leading a human training team in Afghanistan. Conrad said his military experience, and his Top Secret/Sensitive Compartmented Information Clearance — security clearance that allows someone to access sensitive government information not available to the public — helps set him apart from the other candidates.
“I saw some really interesting things doing those things,” Conrad said. “I think it gives me insight into government.”
If elected, the first things he will do in office is figure out how the system works, fight to get on national defense and security committees and work to stabilize the finances of the country.
On the issues
On water: Conrad thinks the simple solution is already out there: desalination in California.
On whether he would support national restrictions on abortion if he were elected: Conrad said he would support anything that protects life, and would support national restrictions on abortion. He said the only exception he has is if the life of the mother is in danger. He does not support punishing a woman for having an abortion.
On the economy: Conrad wants to keep the national debt in check and create a balanced budget. He wants to make the U.S. energy independent and maintain prudent budgetary policies during prosperous times in order to create a fiscal buffer that can be used during financial hardships.
On the 2020 election: When asked if the 2020 election was free and fair, Conrad said he does not believe the election was stolen from former President Donald Trump, but he thinks mail ballots should go away, and that voting should be in person.
On global warming: Conrad denied global warming is caused by human activity, saying it is part of a cycle the Earth has always gone through. “It’s not a very high priority in my book,” Conrad said. The country should still work to reduce coal, but it is more important to have energy independence, he said.
On immigration: Conrad is pro-immigration. He wants to see the U.S. work with the Mexican government to set up refugee camps as a safe haven where immigrants can be repatriated when they enter the U.S.