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Tarkanian, Hammond, Mortensen spar in CD3 GOP debate

The three leading Republican candidates for Nevada’s 3rd Congressional District detailed policy positions and traded barbs during a Tuesday debate on Nevada Politics Today.

Danny Tarkanian, state Sen. Scott Hammond and Michelle Mortensen offered their perspectives on issues such as guns, pro-life legislation, Yucca Mountain and the federal government’s role in education.

Candidates debated whether a tweet from President Donald Trump encouraging Tarkanian to drop his primary challenge against Sen. Dean Heller constituted an endorsement.

“In this case, the president asked me specifically to run in this Congressional District 3 race,” said Tarkanian. “So I even think that’s more than an endorsement.”

“I know Mr. Tarkanian has talked about it being an endorsement,” said Hammond. “I didn’t see anything in there. The language never said, ‘I endorse Danny Tarkanian.’ It just said it’d be good if he got out and went into another race.”

“The tweet did not use the word endorsement or support,” said Mortensen. “If you look at all the other previous endorsements the president has put out on Twitter, they’ve always used those two words.”

On the issue of gun control, the candidates expressed skepticism about new calls for restraints.

“I’m really not looking forward at any kind of gun controls,” said Hammond. “One of the things we keep talking about is making America great. Part of that is really strengthening the families.

“I don’t support any form of gun control,” said Mortensen. “What I do support is protecting our kids.”

She then called for Department of Education block grants focused on school safety.

“I would not vote for any measures that will take away our Second Amendment rights,” said Tarkanian.

On subject of immigration, the candidates offered a variety of thoughts on Trump’s amnesty compromises.

“We need to have that wall,” said Mortensen. “We need to have more border control agents. This is what we need. We need to deal with immigration reform.”

“It’s just a political foil that Democrats are using to try and get votes here in the elections,” said Tarkanian. “President Trump gave a more ambitious and generous proposal for the Dreamers than President Obama did, but the Democrats wouldn’t agree to it, because they want to use this as a partisan attack piece in the elections.”

“You have to solve everything at the same time — the four pillars of immigration as Donald Trump brought up in his State of the Union address,” said Hammond. “I think you have to address the whole issue all at once in order to get it done.”

Other issues discussed included Yucca Mountain, pro-life policies, the omnibus bill and the Middle East.

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