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Can Republicans Hold Onto the Legislature?

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Ken Lund/Flickr

So, as of last week’s deadline, we now know who’s running for local offices in Nevada, including the state legislature. Now the question is, what will the balance of power be in state and local offices?

In 2014, Republicans took over Nevada's Assembly and State Senate in a stunning victory dubbed the Red Wave. 

However, since the victory that put the Legislature and the governor's office into GOP hands for the first time since the Great Depression, there were more than a few headline-grabbing skirmishes between republican lawmakers, including over the Assembly Speaker position.

And some republicans are still fighting republican lawmakers over Gov. Brian Sandoval's education boosting budget. 

With all of that in the air, will the Republican Party hold on to the state legislature this fall?

Both Assemblyman Paul Anderson and State Senator Patricia Farley gave an unequivocal 'yes' to that question during KNPR's State of Nevada.

Anderson said there were 15 primaries out of the 42 seats in the Assembly that the party was focused on and Farley said her party wanted to gain at least one seat in the senate, which the republicans held by just one vote in 2015. 

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"I think we have a great lineup and I think the other great piece of that is we not only have good Americans, good Nevadans but we've got good Republicans up for election in those seats,"

One of the big topics for the Republican primary could be the governor's tax package that is supposed to improve Nevada's education system. While the majority supported it, some Republicans have strongly criticized the hike in taxes. 

Anderson said those who voted for it will have to defend their position.

"That's something that those of us that took that vote have to stand up and be proud of what we did explain how and why we did it," he said.

Another factor might be the overall feeling around the country that it is time for big changes in politics. The outsider vibe from Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders may change election efforts for local lawmakers.

Anderson said being citizen legislators means they understand the same frustrations as voters. 

"We're the same folks that are angry and frustrated with Congress and Washington," he said, "That's us. We got elected partially because we have that same level of frustration."

Farley said she understands first hand the frustration of voters. It was her frustration over a lagging economy that got her into politics in the first place. 

"I think as republicans, and to be honest as democrats, we have to hear that we cannot get caught up in political nonsense," she said, "We have got to start making good decisions and we have got to move Nevada forward." 

 

Guests

State Senator Patricia Farley and Assemblyman Paul Anderson

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KNPR's State of Nevada