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October 24, 2014

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Rep. Mark Amodei says leaders working to make Tesla look smart for picking Nevada

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ASSOCIATED PRESS

Republican Mark Amodei speaks at a victory party in Reno on Tuesday after defeating Democrat Kate Marshall in a special election for Nevada’s 2nd Congressional District. Amodei’s daughters Erin, left, and Ryanne were among the supporters on hand.

Tesla’s decision to build a $5 billion battery factory in Northern Nevada is one of the biggest economic boons for the state since before the 2008 recession, said Rep. Mark Amodei.

“This is an incoming tide that raises all ships: airport, commerce,” Amodei said in a phone interview on CNBC Thursday morning. “It’s a big shot in the arm for an area that has been coming back from 2008 and 2009.”

Amodei is a Republican who represents the Reno area, close to where the high-end electric car maker will receive at least $400 million from Nevada to make lithium ion batteries.

Gov. Brian Sandoval will announce Tesla’s choice of Nevada over four other states in a press conference Thursday afternoon. The state legislature could convene as early as next week to approve the tax incentives package.

Amodei said on CNBC he expects legislators to quickly approve the money for Tesla. He added that states such as California and Texas in a competitive bidding war could have offered Tesla much more. (But as the Wall Street Journal points out, Nevada could be offering Tesla one of the largest incentive packages ever made in America’s auto industry.)

Amodei said Tesla picked Nevada for its factory, expected to create as many as 6,500 jobs, because of its strategic location to Tesla’s Fremont, Ca., plant and a Silver Peak lithium mine, the only active one in the United States.

“We’re going to do our best to make sure we make them look smart for coming here,” Amodei said.

Also on CNBC, Carson City’s Democratic mayor, Robert Crowell praised the deal, calling it an economic balancing act that will bring down the city’s unemployment rate considerably.

“This is a great thing for the whole state of Nevada, period,” he said.

More on the Tesla deal.

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