Republicans face off in attempt to unseat Democrat in Assembly District 21

In Assembly District 21, two Republican legal minds are vying for the chance to run against Democratic incumbent Andy Eisen in the November election.

Derek W. Armstrong and Andrew W. Coates will face off in the June 10 primary to determine who will take on Eisen.

Assembly District 21 is in the southeast Las Vegas Valley, straddling the border of Henderson and unincorporated Clark County, the center of which is Windmill Lane and Eastern Avenue.

Armstong, a lawyer and U.S. Marine, is a native Las Vegan who attended undergraduate and law school at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas.

Armstrong said education is the key to Nevada’s future success. He said if elected he would focus on funding childhood education programs, such as full-day kindergarten and growing pre-kindergarten programs.

Armstrong said he wants to raise revenue, not taxes. He would oppose tax increases, such as the business margins tax, that would hinder economic growth.

Armstrong feels there’s opportunity in growing jobs through construction of an on-campus stadium at UNLV. If elected he would seek to take back Nevada land from the federal government and then sell it to increase revenue.

“Experience and age is something I have over my opponent,” Armstrong said. The tax lawyer pointed to his awareness of veterans issues and his experience as a small-business owner, who opened his law firm in the midst of the worst recession in his lifetime.

“Andy Eisen has a thorough professional background and I’d be a better candidate against him,” Armstrong said.

Coates is a native Nevadan attending UNLV’s William S. Boyd School of Law, according to his website. He studied environmental policy analysis while earning his undergraduate degree from the University of California, Davis.

Coates’ website stated education is a key issue for him in his campaign.

Coates said he wants teachers to have the power to write a Nevada curriculum for its students. He wants to modernize classrooms, reform teacher evaluations, increase alternative school options such as magnet schools, expand career and technical education and improve college preparatory programs.

Coates said he will vote against raising taxes and temporary tax extensions, which he believes is just another form of a tax increase, the website stated.

In an email statement through his campaign manager, Coates said, “I will approach my opportunity to serve the residents of District 21 with energy and enthusiasm, and a unique perspective that is grounded in listening to the concerns of others and doing my best to get real results and make a positive difference in peoples’ lives. Moreover, I have a concrete plan of action to improve our schools and give our students the education they deserve.”

Contact reporter Francis McCabe at or 702-380-1039. Find him on Twitter: @fjmccabe

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