The Review-Journal editorial board offers the following endorsements in this fall’s elections for state Assembly. Endorsements are in bold type.
In District 1, Marilyn Kirkpatrick, speaker of the Democrat-led Assembly, is defending her seat against Republican Roger Baum. Speaker Kirkpatrick works with Republicans even though she doesn’t have to — her party enjoys a 27-15 majority in the Assembly. She’s one of the few Democrats to openly oppose Question 3, the margins tax ballot initiative, and she’s a good leader who puts the state’s interests above partisan politics.
In District 2, the Review-Journal endorses incumbent Republican John Hambrick.
District 3 is an open seat, with Republican Jesus Marquez running against Democrat Nelson Araujo. Mr. Marquez is a small business owner firmly opposed to Question 3, which would hammer his company and countless others if passed. Mr. Araujo is uninformed and wishy washy. His campaign slogan could be, “Everything’s on the table for everything.” He’s not taking a position on the margins tax.
Incumbent Republican Michele Fiore is being challenged by Democrat Jeff Hinton in District 4. Like many Democrats in this cycle, Mr. Hinton says he hasn’t taken a position on Question 3. He should, as Ms. Fiore has, with a strong “no.”
In District 5, Republican Erv Nelson is running against Democrat Jerri Strasser to replace Marilyn Dondero Loop, who is running for state Senate. Mr. Nelson, an attorney, opposes Question 3 and wants to clean up the state’s foreclosure laws. Ms. Strasser, a retired UMC nurse, supports lifting the state’s property tax cap to boost government funding across the board.
Democrat Dina Neal, the incumbent in District 7, is being challenged by Republican Brent Leavitt. Mr. Leavitt is a bright man who as an insurance broker has helped Nevadans wade through the Obamacare mess. But Ms. Neal is one of the few Democrats to come out against Question 3.
Democrat Jason Frierson, seeking re-election against Republican John Moore in District 8, understands the challenges facing the state’s mental health and child welfare systems and wants to end the state’s longtime North-South funding inequities.
Republican David Gardner, seeking an open seat against Democrat Steve Yeager in District 9, supports education reform and school choice and is against Question 3, on which Mr. Yeager hasn’t taken a position.
Republican Shelly Shelton faces Democrat Jesse Holder in open District 10. Ms. Shelton, who has run several service-oriented small businesses, recognizes the damage that passage of the margins tax would bring.
The Review-Journal endorses Democrat James Ohrenschall in District 12.
Incumbent Republican Paul Anderson, challenged by Democrat Christine Lynn Kramar in District 13, is the assistant minority leader and said, “Every door I knock on will be (to say), ‘Don’t forget to vote no on Question 3.’”
The Review-Journal offers no endorsement in the District 14 race between incumbent Democrat Maggie Carlton, who’d like to tax anything that moves, and Republican challenger Matthew Yarbrough, who’s unprepared for Carson City.
Incumbent Democrat Elliot Anderson, facing Republican Benjamin Donlon in District 15, brings a good perspective to the Legislature as a Marine veteran who deals with housing issues daily through his job with Legal Aid of Southern Nevada.
Democrat Tyrone Thompson was appointed to the District 17 seat in the middle of the 2013 session to replace mentally ill Steven Brooks, and he will face voters for the first time against Republican Patrick Mendez. Mr. Thompson deserves thanks for stepping into a difficult situation and merits a full term.
Incumbent Democrat Richard Carrillo, challenged by fellow Democrat Amy Beaulieu in District 18, is opposed to Question 3 and is a champion of technical and trade schools.
District 19 incumbent Cresent Hardy is running for Congress. Republican Chris Edwards has an impressive military background and supports school reform and government accountability. Democrat James Zygadlo didn’t respond to interview requests.
In District 20, incumbent Democrat Ellen Spiegel, who once told the Review-Journal editorial board she “wasn’t qualified” to talk about tax policy, wants to return to Carson City — where she will have a direct say on tax policy. Republican challenger Carol Linton, while well-intentioned, isn’t quite prepared for Carson City. The Review-Journal offers no endorsement.
Republican Derek Armstrong, challenging incumbent Democrat Andy Eisen in District 21, is a tax attorney who represents small businesses, and he’s a strong advocate for charter schools. Mr. Eisen voted against public bonding for charter schools and says he doesn’t have a position on Question 3. Mr. Armstrong is fully opposed to Question 3: “It would be a benefit for me as a tax attorney, but it would be bad because I’d see more businesses fail.”
COMING SATURDAY: More Assembly endorsements.
▶ ON THE WEB: For an up-to-date list of the Review-Journal editorial board’s 2014 election endorsements, go to www.reviewjournal.com/endorsements. A complete list of candidate endorsements will be published Oct. 17 and Nov. 2.
For a list of all candidates endorsed by the Las Vegas Review-Journal so far this election season, click here.