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Review-Journal endorsements: Senate, US House

Updated October 24, 2022 - 10:01 am

Control of both the Senate and House is at stake in this election, and the results of Nevada’s federal races could be the decisive factor one way or the other.

Republicans and Democrats are split 50-50 in the upper chamber, where Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto faces a challenge from Adam Laxalt. In the House, Democrats enjoy a narrow 220-212 advantage, with three seats vacant. A shift of just four or five seats could mean a new Republican majority, and polling shows Nevada’s three incumbent Democrats face tight races.

The party holding the White House typically struggles during midterm balloting. This year is likely to be no different, particularly as inflation soars, the stock market sputters and gasoline prices spike. Democrats have responded by attempting to deflect attention to abortion. We’ll find out in the coming days whether that was an effective strategy.

U.S. Senate

Sen. Cortez Masto is asking voters for a second term. But on the campaign trail, she’s been avoiding tough questions, seeking shelter in the comfort of friendly forces and refusing other interviews. Politicians who don’t have the courage to defend their own records are in the wrong line of work.

Ms. Cortez Masto has been a loyal foot soldier for the Biden economic and energy agenda, which has triggered the highest rates of inflation in 40 years. At no point did she use her vote to leverage an advantage for Nevada, as did Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia for his state. If Democrats pick up the one seat necessary to break the tie in the upper chamber, Ms. Cortez Masto could be asked to vote on radical reforms, such as abolishing the filibuster, packing the Supreme Court, the nationalization of voting laws and the legalization of abortion through the third trimester. Her record defies hopes that she might stand in opposition to such an extreme agenda.

Mr. Laxalt, a former Nevada attorney general, offers a preferable alternative. He was, unfortunately, swept up in the Trump-stolen-election nonsense, but now acknowledges that Joe Biden is the president, “no question.” His view on abortion — he does not support a federal ban — is more in tune with the majority of Americans, and he argues that a GOP Senate majority would ensure the president can’t pass any more destructive bills, “a large step forward for our country.” Mr. Laxalt would bring a fiscally prudent outlook to the Senate, push back against green extremism and be an advocate for trimming the regulatory state. We recommend Adam Laxalt for U.S. Senate.

District 1, U.S. House

Incumbent Democrat Dina Titus faces Republican Mark Robertson, a former Army colonel who now runs a financial firm.

Rep. Titus, a former UNLV professor who has been in public office for three decades, seeks a seventh term in the House. She’s an unapologetic liberal on most issues and denies that Mr. Biden’s policies have much to do with the country’s economic condition or high gasoline prices. She sees little urgency in addressing the growing national debt.

Mr. Robertson offers a different perspective. Rep. Titus, he says, believes in big government and he doesn’t, describing himself as on the “freedom-end” of the spectrum. He would bring down inflation through fiscal restraint and stop “printing, borrowing and spending.” He favors policies that incentivize work and immigration reforms that recognize the country needs migrant labor. Mark Robertson is our selection in CD1.

District 3, U.S. House

Rep. Susie Lee, a Democratic, seeks a third term and faces Republican challenger April Becker, a commercial real estate attorney.

Rep. Lee has positioned herself as a moderate, but the website FiveThirtyEight reveals that she’s voted with Mr. Biden 100 percent of the time. Her position on abortion — no limits at all — is as extreme as the Republican abolitionists she criticizes. She has voted to eliminate Nevada’s right-to-work law in favor of compulsory unionism. Rep. Lee backs a constitutional amendment to rewrite the First Amendment to allow federal regulators to oversee political speech and doesn’t seem concerned that such reform could result in a ban on certain campaign discourse.

Ms. Becker says she won’t support the president’s policy of “just throwing money” at problems and understands that immigration reform will require compromise. She’d like to see the federal government encourage more choice for families stuck in failing schools and thinks we’re moving too quickly to impose green energy mandates. She vows to be a “representative of the people who put me in office.” We endorse April Becker in CD3.

District 4, U.S. House

Incumbent Democrat Steven Horsford is being challenged by Republican Sam Peters, a 20-year military veteran now in the insurance business.

Rep. Horsford is in his third term and has typically voted in lockstep with the Democratic agenda. But he’s also been an effective advocate for his district, particularly the rural Nevada areas. He pushed for expanded tele-health options vital to those who live far from urban centers, and he was instrumental in securing funding for a new medical center in Tonopah. Rep. Horsford is not afraid to push back on green interests who seek to stop the mining projects necessary to advance renewable energy. He supports securing more federal land for Clark County to grow and acknowledges that border security is essential to any immigration legislation.

Mr. Peters says Washington spending is “out of control” and “not sustainable.” He favors a balanced budget amendment and “getting the federal government out of the way of business” and says he wants what’s best for “our country, state and communities.”

Mr. Peters is a formidable candidate. But Rep. Horsford has earned the trust of his constituents and a fourth term. We endorse Steven Horsford in CD4.

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