The race to become the Republican nominee to fill the Nevada U.S. Senate seat that has been held by Harry Reid for 30 years features an incumbent congressman, the woman Reid defeated in the 2010 election and what can best be described as seven others.
Early voting is about to start and the primary election day is June 14.
Three-term congressman for southern Clark County, former emergency room physician and Army Reserve brigadier general Joe Heck is widely considered to be the front-runner for the GOP nomination and is expected to advance to the November General Election and face presumed Democratic nominee Catherine Cortez Masto, Reid’s hand-picked successor.
Former four-term Reno Assemblywoman Sharron Angle entered the Republican nomination race in March and has statewide name recognition after winning the nomination six years ago and then losing by 6 points to Reid after a number of prominent Republicans endorsed Reid and the liberal media ridiculed her fundamentalist and conservative values. There was also a heavy union turnout for Reid.
Dr. Heck has served three tours of duty in Iraq and promises to be a voice for active military and veterans. He chairs the Military Personnel Subcommittee of the House Armed Services Committee, where he worked on securing an adequate military retirement system.
He has pressed for the opening of the Laughlin VA Health Clinic and has been a critic of the VA health system’s lack of accountability.
As a physician, Heck has fought to fully repeal the Affordable Care Act, known pejoratively as ObamaCare. “Premium increases on top of exorbitant deductibles make the ‘Affordable Care Act’ anything but affordable,” Heck says. “That is why I introduced and cosponsored legislation with the GOP Doctors Caucus to fully repeal the unsustainable ACA and start over with patient-centered solutions including the interstate purchase of insurance, individual health pools, expanded health savings accounts, tax credits for the purchase of coverage, and lawsuit abuse reforms to reduce the costly practice of defensive medicine.”
The father of three children is pressing to return more education control and funding and policy decisions to the states and local school districts. He pushed legislation that prevented the federal government from coercing states into adopting Common Core standards.
But he says his top priority is improving the Nevada economy and boosting job growth by curbing Washington’s overbearing regulations.
Angle has launched what she is calling her “Changing Hearts & Minds Tour” across the state, meeting with voters and pressing issues involving requiring proper identification before being allowed to vote, ending ObamaCare and protecting pupil privacy by making sure all the data gathered on public school children is kept confidential.
“My connections and history in Nevada run deep, I love meeting voters and talking about the real issues that are important to them, I love Nevada. If there is one thing everyone is tired of is Washington, D.C., telling us what to do on every single thing you didn’t imagine,” she is saying. “When it comes to real Nevada, the people who work in the mines, own businesses, run family farms, they know first hand how much trouble Washington, D.C., can be in their lives. They want to hear ‘Our Voice’ in the U.S. Senate, not D.C. insiders. That is why I am here, to bring national attention to these important issues.”
Over the years Angle has been a strong Second Amendment supporter, drawing scoffs and gasps from the liberal media when she says things like: “Our Founding Fathers, they put that Second Amendment in there for a good reason, and that was for the people to protect themselves against a tyrannical government.”
Candidate D’Nese Davis describes herself as an artist and small business owner. She is a regional director of “2 Million Bikers to D.C.,” who she says believe in God, country, the Constitution and the Bill of Rights as written by the Founders.
Davis describes herself as an advocate for veterans, the Second Amendment and first responders.
Eddie Hamilton is a perennial candidate who describes himself as an original and unapologetic Donald Trump supporter who would work with a President Trump.
Hamilton is CEO of the Las Vegas Fund, which specializes in real estate, gaming common stock, and government Treasury bonds investments. He holds an MBA and attended law school.
On the issues Hamilton describes himself as a conservative who embraces supply-side economics. He supports building Trump’s Wall, overhauling the Veterans health agency, reforming the tax code and repealing ObamaCare and the Common core mandate. He said he would add private investment opportunities to Social Security.
Hamilton says he opposes amnesty for illegal immigrants and would defund Planned Parenthood. He supports the Second Amendment and separation of powers.
Thomas Heck makes light of the fact he shares the last name of the front-runner, saying in an online audio commercial, “Don’t vote for the average Joe. Did you know there’s another Heck running for United States Senate here in Nevada. It’s Tom Heck.
He registered with the Secretary of State to enter the race by listing his name as Thomas “SAD Tom” Heck and says he is saddened by the Republican and Democratic leadership “with their crony capitalism funding career politicians who ignore the voters!”
Thomas Heck is a graduate of the Air Force Academy who served 22 years in the Air Force before retiring in 1998 with the rank of lieutenant colonel. Like the other Heck he stresses his military leadership.
His priorities are listed as improving job opportunities and the economy by cutting regulations and burdensome paper work and by cutting or eliminating the business tax, strengthening our military to protect Americans and destroy ISIS, stopping government intrusion into our personal lives, supporting a flat tax, secure our border and running government like a business.
Robert X. Leeds, 90, ran in the Republican primary for the 4th Congressional District in 2012 and finished ninth of nine candidates. His online biography says he was in the Merchant Marines at the end of World War II, worked as a consultant for General Motors and partnered with McDonald’s founder Ray Kroc to found a pet care firm. He says he managed to become embedded with a Cavalry unit in Iraq, but was wounded shortly after his 83rd birthday in 2009 and returned to the U.S. for treatment. He is retired.
He proposes term limits for federal judges, opposes allowing Sharia Law to be practiced here, would let each state determine the legality of abortions and would end the Electoral College and determine elections by popular vote.
Bill Tarbell of Sparks is calling for simplification of the 75,000-page federal tax code. He is opposed to abortion except to save the mother’s life and opposes requiring the Common Core to be taught in schools.
Tarbell says many important lessons should be learned from the standoff between the Bureau of Land Management and the Bundy family of ranchers near Bunkerville two years ago. “Perhaps most important is the intensity of the reaction triggered by the massive show of force presented by the BLM,” he says. “People coming from near and far with such speed and determination suggests that we are near a threshold of impatience with federal pressure of all kinds.”
Tarbell says restrictions on public and private land, such as the Endangered Species Act, have intensified resentment of the government.
Another perennial candidate is Carlos Poliak, who has run as both a Democrat and Republican. He ran four years ago for the Senate as a Republican and two years before that as a Democrat. He has twice run for governor.
Poliak, a sanitation company worker, four years ago added the nickname “Nakusa” to his ballot registration form. This year he has added “Mazunga.” Poliak finished fourth in a four-way race for the Republican nomination for the 4th Congressional District in 2014. He listed no website when he registered.
Justin Preble is a Henderson resident in the insurance business. On his Facebook page he writes, “As a Candidate for the U.S. Senate my intentions are pure. I will protect our freedom and get us out of debt.”