KOLO Reno: Washoe Dems Ready to Win Up and Down Ballot
Reno Gazette-Journal: Washoe Dems criticize GOP as general election season begins
Seth A. Richardson
6:17 p.m. PDT June 20, 2016
With the matchups for the November election in Nevada set, Washoe County Democrats came out firing against Republicans on Monday.
Several Democratic candidates for office, including Sparks Assemblyman Mike Sprinkle, Sparks Councilwoman and Senate District 13 candidate Julia Ratti, 2nd Congressional District candidate Chip Evans, Senate District 15 candidate Devon Reese and Sparks City Council candidate Denise Lopez as well as Washoe County Chairwoman Cecilia Colling, held a news conference at Washoe County Democratic Party headquarters where they called out Republicans on a number of issues, particularly for supporting presidential nominee Donald Trump.
A majority of Republicans statewide announced they would back Trump once he secured the nomination in May. Reese said that decision was antithetical to what it requires to be a lawmaker given Trump’s divisive rhetoric.
“It means that Democrats are working very hard to represent all folks – the disabled, the disenfranchised, Latinos, Muslims, African-Americans – and at the same time the Republican Party has chosen a person who values not any of those groups and who values bigotry, intolerance, the things that I think are very anti-American,” Reese said.
Two candidates – Reese and Evans – took specific shots at their opponents. Reese is facing Republican Heidi Gansert, former chief of staff to Gov. Brian Sandoval, in the state Senate election while Evans is trying to unseat U.S. Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Nev.
“Mr. Amodei has been the poster child of dysfunction in Washington: A Republican-led Congress that has been terrible for seniors, women, minorities and our environment,” Evans said. “His stated support of Mr. Trump and his failure to denounce his divisive and disastrous agenda indicates his votes will only get worse.”
Amodei declined to comment.
Reese also criticized his opponent for backing Trump and said Gansert’s name recognition was a deciding factor in her primary against small businessman Eugene Hoover. Gansert beat Hoover by more than 1,200 votes in the primary.
Reese said he plans to court Hoover’s supporters.
“I think a lot of folks that voted for Eugene Hoover are not happy with career politicians and those are folks we are going to go out and try to attract to a broad coalition,” he said.
Reese also questioned $30,000 in campaign contributions to Gansert that came from the Las Vegas Sands Corporation, Sands Corporation and The Venetian, all of which are owned by Republican megadonor Sheldon Adelson. Reese said it is tantamount to Gansert’s vote already being purchased.
Gansert did not respond to requests for comment.
Sprinkle said the divide in the party at the presidential level won’t translate down to state offices, but expects Trump to have an effect by creating voter apathy among Republicans weary to support the outspoken billionaire.
“Every single day he continues to make comments that are going to turn off his own base support,” Sprinkle said.