Nevada GOP Primary Candidates Vie for Chance to Unseat Rep. Horsford

Republican challengers in the June 11 Congressional District 4 race tout ‘conservative’ credentials as a top value.

A financial adviser and Iraq War Air Force combat commander, a former North Las Vegas mayor, and an accountant who is also an attorney are vying to win the Republican nomination on June 11 to take on three-term incumbent Rep. Steven Horsford (D-Nev.) in November.

Nevada’s Congressional District 4 (CD 4) is one of three Las Vegas area congressional districts represented by Democrat incumbents who have survived contests since 2018 to retain their House seats. In the 2022 midterms, Mr. Horsford defeated Republican Sam Peters by 4.8 percentage points, or nearly 11,000 votes.

All three southern Nevada House races are projected to be competitive. Cook Political Report, Inside Elections, and Larry J. Sabato’s Crystal Ball classify the CD 4 race as ‘Likely Democratic,” designating Mr. Horsford as the favorite in the D+5 district.

He has benefited from the Nevada Democrat-run Legislature’s post-2020 Census redistricting that plugged CD 1 voters into CDs 3 and 4 to help party candidates in those purple districts, unlike CDs 1 and 3, which are entirely in Clark County.

But factors such as border chaos, calls for immigration reform, inflation, reducing the federal role in education, the Biden administration’s “green energy” transition, and momentum galvanized by the Trump campaign have buoyed Republican campaigns across the three southern Nevada districts. In these districts, nearly 40 percent of voters are registered as unaffiliated.

The three Republicans vying in CD 4’s GOP primary are Iraq war veteran and small business owner David Flippo; former North Las Vegas mayor and plumbing company owner John Lee, who was endorsed by former President Trump on June 5; and lawyer-accountant Bruce Frazey, “the only lifelong Republican candidate in District 4 who does not support Donald Trump.”

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Little polling has been conducted on Nevada’s House races despite numerous presidential election surveys in the battleground state—former President Donald Trump consistently pegs 3-to-5 percentage points ahead of President Joe Biden—but Messrs. Flippo and Lee appear to be the frontrunners.

As of his May 22 Federal Elections Commission (FEC) filing, Mr. Flippo’s campaign reported it had raised $922,333, spent $873,667, and had $48,666 in cash on hand.

Mr. Lee’s May 22 FEC filing showed his campaign raising $850,472, spending $750,080, and having $100,392 in the bank. Mr. Frazey had not raised enough campaign cash to meet FEC reporting requirements.

Mr. Horsford, the first African-American elected to Congress from Nevada, has raised $3.34 million, spent $1.545 million, and had $1.857 million in cash as of his campaign’s May 22 FEC filing. He faces a nominal primary challenge from avionics technician and Navy veteran Levi Shultz, who did not raise enough money to require an FEC filing.

Water, federal land policy, and affordable housing are among Nevada-centric issues being addressed by GOP candidates across the three districts. The three CD 4 Republican hopefuls all cite federal debt spending as among the most pressing issues they’d address if elected.

Mr. Flippo, noting he has signed the Club for Growth “no new taxes” pledge, said he’s a budget hawk who knows how to sift waste from the appropriation process.

“We need to live within our means. We need to reduce the deficit and reduce what we spend. We’re spending more than we make,” he told The Epoch Times.

“It makes no sense. But that’s what we do.”

Much of Mr. Frazey’s campaign is an in-depth discussion of how he’d change what he—and many others—say is a cumbersome, wasteful federal budget system.

“If you don’t solve the financial problems in this country, it won’t make any difference what the hell you do on the border,” he told The Epoch Times.

‘Set Up Boundaries’

“The first thing I would do is I‘d set up some boundaries. One boundary I’d set up is [that] Social Security shouldn’t fund the national debt—period. Get Social Security out of the national debt.”

Mr. Frazey said the appropriations process, fiscal policy, and the federal tax code all need review and updating. He’d propose that the federal government adopt the Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) used by most corporations.

“We need to change the way we’re taxing people. You can’t tax people based on a separate set of books” that are the opposite of GAAP accounting, he said.

“GAAP accounting [is] the accounting designed by the accountants with over 200 years of accounting,” Mr. Frazey said. “GAAP-based accounting is what we ought to use to calculate net income. We don’t have to come up with any new systems or anything. It’s set in stone. It’s a concept that’s been generated by generations of accountants and financial people.”

He’d invite accounting experts from “the big four public accounting firms” to help design a new tax code that is fair to lower and middle-class taxpayers.

“Courageous people with financial backgrounds are what we need in Congress right now,” Mr. Frazey said.

Mr. Lee said that, as North Las Vegas mayor, he has experience crafting budgets based on actual revenues—unlike Congress—and trimming expenses to live within those spending plans.

When he was first elected mayor in 2013, the city was “at the brink of almost insolvency,” but the “working class” Las Vegas suburb was comfortably in the black when he resigned to run for Congress in December 2022.

“I’ve created a lot of jobs and diversified our economy in Southern Nevada with a ton of manufacturing companies,” Mr. Lee told The Epoch Times.

“I have a reputation for building jobs, hopes, and dreams for our community, and I think people respect that.”

Name recognition in the district “gives me quite a big advantage,” he said, noting he’s the only candidate raising public safety as an issue that needs to be addressed.

“We’re seeing an increase in crime—shoplifting and burglary,” Mr. Lee said, adding that the root cause of the crime increase is the influence of  “Bidenomics” on Las Vegas’s struggling post-COVID economy.

If people don’t have decent-paying jobs, “they have to do something to provide for themselves, so I know our crime is a lot higher than most everywhere else,” he said.

In addition to being backed by former President Trump, Mr. Lee has been endorsed by Nevada Gov. Joe Lombardo and a host of state lawmakers, including some Democrats.

He maintains that getting rid of Mr. Horsford should be a top priority for CD 4 GOP candidates and for the district’s voters.

Mr. Flippo, on the other hand, says Mr. Lee is the one who needs to be defeated first, before moving on to Mr. Horsford.

Mr. Lee served four years in the Nevada Assembly and eight years in the state Senate as a Democrat. In 2012, he unsuccessfully ran for Congress as a Democrat.

Mr. Flippo said he is the best-suited candidate to serve in Congress under a Trump administration.

“I’m the only Republican in this race that has endorsed Donald Trump, who is a true conservative. I’ve been a lifelong conservative,” he said.

“I haven’t been a Democrat politician in Nevada for 24 years,“ Mr. Flippo said, adding that Mr. Lee has ”a more liberal voting record than Steven Horsford when they served in the Senate together.”

CD 4 Republican voters “can’t allow a non-conservative to win this race because. as for the general election here in Nevada, it puts two Democrats that have been Democrats for 20-40 years” on the ballot, he said.

Mr. Frazey, a first-time candidate, is a dark-horse outsider. He didn’t mention Mr. Lee but praised Mr. Flippo as “a decent guy” with a grasp of economics and someone who’s not afraid to say what other Republican candidates won’t say despite voters raising the issue with them.

Mr. Frazey calls himself a “Never-Trumper,” and so is a significant component of CD 4’s GOP voters, he maintains.

According to Mr. Frazey, the former president is a campaign issue, and there is a significant cadre of “Never-Trumpers” among registered voters.

Original News Source Link – Epoch Times

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