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Howard Watts


Howard Watts


Self Employed, Public Relations

Political Office

Nevada Assembly District 15

Political Affiliation


How would you describe yourself to voters?

I was born and raised in Las Vegas. My parents worked on the Strip and were Culinary Union members, and I am a graduate of CCSD and UNLV. My career has been focused on community service, working in and with nonprofit organizations. I was elected to the Legislature in 2018 and have a strong track record of passing policies that strengthen voting rights, protect our environment and water supply, and expand civil rights and justice for all. Last session I chaired the Assembly Natural Resources Committee helping to pass groundbreaking water conservation legislation, and have received multiple awards for my work on sustainability and conservation.

What do you see as the top issues in this campaign?

The biggest issue affecting Nevadans right now is housing affordability, and homelessness is a linked issue to that. Climate change and the water supply are also major issues of concern that people want to see addressed. Finally, I think we all want to see improvement in education for Nevada's students.

In your opinion, how would you rate the state’s response to the pandemic? Why?

I support the state's pandemic response decisions and would say we did a good but imperfect job. It's easy to look back with the information now available and question what should have been done differently, but ultimately our healthcare system never collapsed, faith in our tourism industry to keep visitors safe never wavered, and we are working to get everybody back on their feet and build an even stronger economy and community than we had before. We put the health and safety of people first as we navigated unusual and uncertain times, and that is something we should all feel good about given the news that 1 million Americans have died from COVID since the outbreak started.

Education and local government officials have long asked lawmakers to change the way the state assesses property taxes. That includes raising the current tax threshold. Should lawmakers consider raising those thresholds? If not, what is the best way for governments to raise money for local programs?

I'm glad that Nevada's property tax system is affordable. However, there are some issues with the current structure that are lead to revenues failing to keeping up with growth in population and property value. I'm very open to looking at options to modernize this, but any changes must be made in a way that protects current homeowners from dramatic cost increases, and would need broad support since it would require a two-thirds vote of the Legislature.