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EDITORIAL: Review-Journal endorses Wes Duncan for attorney general

Updated October 17, 2018 - 12:00 pm

Nevada voters in November will decide who should hold a variety of state constitutional offices beyond the governorship. The position of attorney general is the most important of the bunch, and the race offers a clear contrast between the two major candidates.

Republican Wes Duncan, a staff judge advocate in the U.S. Air Force Reserve, was elected twice to the Assembly before leaving in 2014 to become the first assistant to Attorney General Adam Laxalt, who now seeks the Governor’s Mansion. Mr. Duncan resigned his position to devote his energies to replacing his former boss. If elected, he says his priority will be the public safety realm, and he has secured the endorsement of many of the state’s law enforcement agencies. “I’m running to make Nevada the safest place to raise a family,” he said.

Along those lines, Mr. Duncan promotes an agenda that includes more transitional housing to help attack the scourge of domestic violence. He also wants a boost to mental health funding to set up psychiatric emergency rooms throughout the state.

On other issues, Mr. Duncan says he opposes executing federal immigration policy through presidential executive orders rather than congressional action. He would fight plans to implement sanctuary city policies in the Silver State and says that, if elected, he would push back against federal overreach when it comes to the state’s public lands.

Mr. Duncan’s opponent is Democrat Aaron Ford, majority leader of the state Senate. During his time in Carson City, Mr. Ford and his caucus have sought to greatly expand Nevada’s administrative state at the expense of small and large businesses. Expect more of such progressive activism if he becomes the state’s chief law enforcement officer.

The affable Wes Duncan is the clear choice in this race. He has the experience, temperament and intellectual heft to be an exceptional attorney general.

The contest for lieutenant governor features Republican Michael Roberson against Democrat Kate Marshall. Mr. Roberson, who has served eight years in the state Senate, was the driving force behind many of the collective bargaining and education reforms passed during the 2015 session. He has the experience and political savvy to make this office relevant. Voters should elect Michael Roberson.

Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske, a Republican, is facing Democrat Nelson Araujo in her bid for a second term. Ms. Cegavske has 18 years of legislative experience and has worked to implement safeguards to ensure the integrity of the vote. Nevadans should re-elect Barbara Cegavske.

For state treasurer, Republican Bob Beers is running against Democrat Zach Conine. Mr. Conine has a bright political future, but Mr. Beers’ vast budget experience in both the private and public sector makes him our choice.

In the state controller’s race, incumbent Republican Ron Knecht faces Democrat Catherine Byrne. Mr. Knecht is a budget hawk who has a refreshing habit of bluntness and candor. There’s no need for a change at the controller’s office. Voters should support Ron Knecht.

A previous version of this editorial misstated the year Wes Duncan left the Assembly and his title in the U.S. Air Force Reserve.

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