Republican incumbent faces challenger in Assembly District 22 race

The primary for the GOP nomination in the Assembly District 22 race will likely determine the winner for the seat with no Democratic challenger. Registered Republicans hold a 41 percent-to-34 percent advantage over Democrats in the district, one of only seven Assembly districts in the county with a GOP advantage.

That does not mean the seat won’t be hotly contested.

Four-term Assemblyman Lynn Stewart is being challenged by political upstart Richard Bunce, who was endorsed by the state Republican Party during a controversial preprimary process boycotted by the state’s top party leaders.

Stewart is viewed as a moderate by the party’s more conservative members, while Bunce helped brother Carl Bunce run the Ron Paul Nevada presidential campaign. Carl Bunce is challenging Senate Minority Leader Michael Roberson for the District 20 seat.

Stewart, who is seeking his fifth term, is seeking re-election because he believes there is a light at the end of the tunnel for the economy.

“The governor and the state need my experience, my ability to work with people to get things done,” said Stewart, who sits on the legislative committees for taxation, education and government affairs.

Balancing the state budget while providing money for education without raising taxes (“a big ‘no’ on the margins tax”) that would hinder business growth are continued focuses for Stewart, who is the minority whip.

“The biggest challenge is creating a budget that adequately funds education, transportation and medical issues without going in the hole,” Stewart said. “That’s difficult to do because we have to project that budget two years into the future.”

Bunce said he opposes any new taxes, including extending the state’s sunset taxes again, increasing a gasoline tax, or adding a margins tax.

“As a Republican, we should want to reduce the cost of doing business to create more jobs, and attract people to Nevada,” Bunce said. “We should want to reduce the cost of living for working families.”

On education, Bunce supports school choice by allowing students to attend whatever school best fits their needs, not by an address.

He would also like to see Nevada get back much of the state land controlled by the federal government to raise money for the state’s needs.

The winner will face Independent American candidate Leroy Lalley in November for the two-year term.

Contact reporter Arnold M. Knightly at aknightly@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3882. Follow @KnightlyGrind on Twitter.

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