One of the congressional elections that could be close is between Rep. Steven Horsford, D-NV, and former Nevada Assemblyman Jim Marchant.
The congressional district covers most of North Las Vegas and parts of Pahrump, Tonopah, Ely, and Central Nevada.
Jim Marchant –
What qualifies you to represent District 4?
I think that my life experience as a businessman. I’ve had successful companies that I’ve built in the technology sector. I’ve been a former assemblyman here in Nevada.
Also having experience in Florida when I lived there and getting some bills passed through the Florida Legislature gave me a unique perspective on how to get things done in legislatures, working from the representatives' view and then from the governor’s view because I actually was an advisor for Gov. Jeb Bush in Florida.
What was different about working in the Legislature here, then in Florida?
Not a whole lot. I was really surprised and I’m assuming it is that way with most state legislatures. They do things the same way. There are some differences, but for the most part, it’s the same thing. You either have a House and a Senate in a state and governor and constitutional offices.
I was pleasantly surprised because I didn’t have a huge learning curve once I ran for office our here in Nevada and actually served.
On immigration reform:
I think we need to enforce the laws that are on the books. We have some pretty decent laws, and we need to enforce them to the letter. We also need to reform, I believe, our whole immigration system to be based on merit. That would be something I would advocate.
President Trump has a system to deal with DACA and I’m kind of for that. I’m not against that. Chain migration I think we need to deal with and the visa lotteries. Those would be reforms that I would like to see in our immigration system.
On your website, it says you would stop socialism. Do you see socialism in CD4?
I see socialism everywhere in our country. For the past, 60 years we have been, as citizens, giving up more and more and more of our freedoms that were guaranteed us by our Constitution and the Founders.
I think we’ve gone too far. I don’t want government in my life. I want a limited government like the Constitution says. I don’t want them telling me what I can and can’t do. Of course, we do need laws and a society can’t exist without the rule of law, and you also have to have somebody that will enforce that law that is why I’m for not defunding our police. I’m a huge advocate of our law enforcement.
How do socialism and law enforcement combine?
Socialism is something that, like I said, takes away our freedoms. You got to have law enforcement to enforce laws but there’s not really too much difference there.
Taxes are a form of socialism. Do you oppose taxes?
For the most part – yeah. We do have to have taxes that run our government. I’m for a limited government. I’m for less taxes. The more money that is out of the hands of the government and into the hands of the citizens that I think can spend it better than the government and increase our economy because if we have a booming economy that lifts all boats like Reagan said. A rising tide lifts all boats.
Actually, you generate more tax if you have a booming economy.
Would you oppose tax cuts or tax incentives for businesses, which some people also see as a form of socialism?
I think we do need to incentivize businesses to come here to Nevada because we do want jobs, but we don’t want to do it to the point where we’re creating crony capitalism and you’re playing favorites and you’re picking winners and losers.
I think there is a medium there that we could be met. Do what we want and enticing businesses to come here, but not doing what happened with the stadium, with Faraday [Future], which was all a disaster. Taxpayers were left on the hook for a lot of those and I’m definitely not for that.
We need to figure out a better way to do that.
On the Affordable Care Act:
I’m for repealing it.
But I think we need to replace it with a true free-market capitalism system one that encourages competition. One that encourages transparency. So that you see what you’re getting.
If we encourage competition, it is going to lower prices for everybody. Take for example, Lasik eye surgery. That was not typically covered by insurances and it’s a competition thing and now you can get Lasik eye surgery for relatively cheap, something that a lot of people can afford.
We need that whole practice throughout our entire health care system. Whatever we do, I’m for adding competition to the mix because I think that is what will get the prices down.
If they repeal ACA, would you want a transition period between the repealing and the competition period?
There probably will be. I don’t see how you can just cut it off and just cut people off. It’s a complicated thing. Nobody has a really good answer on how to deal with this. You’ve got the smartest people in the world that are trying to figure this out. I just think you need people who can critically think. Can really figure out how to solve a serious problem, because this is a very serious and complicated problem.
What values do you share with President Donald Trump?
Conservatism – I think. What our Constitution offered us, I’m for that. He does things a little different than I do. I’m from the South. I’m a southern gentleman. Sometimes I don’t understand his demeanor and that type of thing. People are different and that’s just the way it is, but I love his policies – the tax cuts.
One of the things that a lot of people don’t understand why the economy boomed so much under his tenure after he got elected was – kind of taking the handcuffs off of businesses and rolling back some of the burdensome regulations.
That was a huge issue. That’s something intangible that you can’t really put a dollar figure on how much it helped the economy. I’m definitely for that. I would like to do and advocate for another tax cut for small businesses.
Environmentalists say that deregulation is negatively impacting the environment and hurting efforts to address climate change?
Us, here in America, we’re doing more than any other country in the world. If you look at the difference between us and China right now, it is a stark difference. We’re paying for more of that. We need to get other countries on board with doing what we’re doing here.
Until the other countries get on board, I don’t think that taxpayers should be on the hook for doing the things that would be mandated by the government to affect climate change.
Are you saying, we should be allowed to maybe deregulate and pollute our air as much as [China] so that we can stay competitive with them at least until they reach our air quality standards?
No, no, no. Absolutely not – but we need to get them to do their part also. And if you look at what they’re doing, it’s disgusting.
I’m an outdoors guy. I love the environment and want to see the water as clean as possible and our air as clean as possible. I think there are ways that we can do it that won’t break the taxpayers.
Rep. Steven Horsford -
If you are re-elected, what are your goals going to be for the new term?
Our number one priority has been focusing on the pandemic, helping to provide the relief that Nevada families, workers and small businesses need. Because we are not out of this pandemic, also making sure that we continue to provide that relief and assistance while working to get our economy back on track, getting people back to work safely and making sure that our children can, ultimately, return to school and have the support that they need.
We’ve got a lot of work to do.
I’m proud that I’ve worked in a bi-partisan manner over the last few months to provide more than $8 billion in funding to Nevada small businesses, helping more than 42,000 Nevadan businesses stay afloat.
Unfortunately, Nevada has also been disproportionally impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, both on the health care side, and as well as, on the economic impact – especially to our hospitality and tourism industries. Nearly 200,000 Nevadans are still out of work, and we’re working hard to make sure they get the relief and support they need as well.
Do you think the state did a good job in how it handled the pandemic?
I absolutely commend Gov. Sisolak and our local officials, including Commissioner Marilyn Kirkpatrick in Clark County. They had to make some very difficult decisions early… back in February and March when it became known that this was an air-borne virus, particularly that it affected some of the largest employers and small businesses and they relied on the information that was coming from the Centers for Disease Control and other health experts at the national level, and I think if anything, it would have been more helpful had we been provided greater leadership from the White House with effective testing, community tracing and treatment strategy in order to prevent the number of deaths that have occurred.
Obviously, we have seen more than 7 million people be affected by this virus across the country and more than 120,000 Americans who have lost their lives.
The state unemployment office has struggled to provide benefits to all the Nevadans, who have filed claims. How, specifically, do you plan to help Nevada on its road to recovery if you are re-elected?
First, I share [people’s] frustration. It’s one of the reasons that I voted for the CARES Act and that included $10 million funding specifically for Nevada to try to upgrade their systems and hire more staff in order to address the number of [unemployment] claims.
Let’s be clear. This was an unprecedented pandemic, and it required an unprecedented response. We never had this number of Nevadans have to apply for unemployment all at once the way this occurred this year.
One of the things we’ve focused on in my office is to try to be available to try to provide direct constituent services. I conducted more than 100 community outreach events just this year alone, many of those have been telephone town halls to help educate and inform our constituents on important resources, including unemployment assistance, the Paycheck Protection Program for small businesses, help for families that needed assistance for food and utilities and housing assistance. What I’ve heard from my constituents is that because this pandemic is not over, because our economy is still struggling, they need more help and that is why I’m working – right now – with my colleagues to try to reach yet another deal so that we can get more assistance to families, to workers and to small businesses in Nevada.
Your district includes some rural areas of Nevada. What have you learned about your district and the people that live there during your time in office?
I’m a native Nevadan. I grew up in Southern Nevada and went to school and graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno. I have a perspective for the entire state. Of course, I also served in the State Senate for eight years. Four years as the majority leader, during the last economic recession. Part of my job has always been to understand the needs of our entire state.
My district covers 52,000 square miles. I have six rural counties, as well as Clark County and what I know is families, workers, small businesses in every corner of my district have been impacted by this pandemic. They need strong, experienced representation that’s actually going to get things done, not an ideolog who is going to put their interests over constituents' needs. Right now, people need to be able to get back to work safely. They want to be able to take care of their families. They want to keep a roof over their head, put food on the table and keep their kids safe, as well as, help protect health care and their retirement savings through Social Security.
Those are the issues that I hear from constituents in every corner of the district and it’s the reason that I’m continuing to fight on their behalf.
On your website, you say you’re committed to standing up to the reckless agenda of President Donald Trump and congressional Republicans. What are some examples of when you’ve stood up against the president?
I’m a member of the Ways and Means Committee and our committee oversees health care, the Affordable Care Act, Medicare, Medicaid, as well as unemployment insurance and Social Security.
One of the areas that I disagree with my opponent and Donald Trump is they want to defund Social Security by diverting revenue away from the Social Security trust fund. Their proposal would deplete the trust fund account by as early as 2025, impacting current beneficiaries of Social Security. They also support increasing the age of eligibility, making people have to work longer in order to even earn the benefits of Social Security, breaking our promise to those who paid into the Social Security trust fund.
They also want to privatize parts of Medicare, and they want to abolish the Affordable Care Act. Something that many hundreds of thousands of Nevadans depend on and more than a million Nevadans with pre-existing conditions are protected by the provisions under the Affordable Care Act.
My opponent is a self-described Tea Party Republican. He is way far to the right, and even when he served for two years in the Nevada State Assembly, he voted against then-Republican Governor Brian Sandoval’s budget, which included cutting $225 million for public safety in the state of Nevada. I’m sure when he was on he talked about my position. He’s misrepresented my positions on a number of issues, but when he had the chance, he actually voted to defund public safety. And it shows you the hypocrisy, and the talking points they choose to use from the National Republican Party.
Do you think police and criminal justice reform needs to take place and would you support a call to reduce spending on police?
I never supported any call to defund or reduce support for public safety and law enforcement. I work closely with our local leaders, including local law enforcement to keep our communities safe.
I have a very long track record of working to build up communities, not tear them down. I condemn any forms of rioting or looting, but I do support peaceful protests under the First Amendment. And I do support those calls for accountability in every profession, whether that be in health care or law enforcement or education or in government. We need to hold officials accountable and when someone violates the public’s trust. When they’ve failed to do their job to keep our community safe, when they abuse that position and that power, there needs to be laws in place to hold those individuals accountable.
Are you concerned that news of your affair with an intern will impact your chances of re-election?
First, I love my wife and I’m really focused on doing what I need to make sure I heal my marriage and focus on my family. The issue that my constituents talk to me about are the issues that affect them, which include their health care, their jobs, their ability to retire with security and dignity. Those are the issues that I’m focused on every day and will continue to make sure we deliver on behalf of the people of Nevada’s 4th District.
I’m a proven leader with experience. I’m not an ideolog on the far right or the far left. I’m someone who has a record of getting things done and I’m asking for people’s support once again to represent them in Congress as their representative from the 4th District.
Jim Marchant, Former Assemblyman and Republican candidate for Congressional District 4; Rep. Steven Horsford, D-NV, Congressional District 4
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