Mona Shield Payne / Special to the Sun
Friday, Oct. 16, 2009 | 2:05 a.m.
- Lauer enters NV 3rd congressional race (10-13-2009)
- The governor's race and Joe Heck (10-7-2009)
- Dems blast Heck for switching to congressional race (10-6-2009)
- Sen. Joe Heck 'seriously considering' run against Dina Titus (9-29-2009)
Former state Sen. Joe Heck took his new candidacy for Congress for a spin before a friendly audience and against an early opponent.
Heck appeared before the Boulder City Republican Women’s Club at Railroad Pass Casino on Thursday with fellow candidate for Congressional District 3 Richard Stubbs. Both are Republicans.
Heck had been a candidate for governor when he accepted the invitation to speak at the group’s monthly luncheon.
Last week, he switched to the race against incumbent Democrat Dina Titus in the district that includes Boulder City.
Heck explained his switch by saying that campaigns have to start so early anymore that the best decision can’t always be made initially. He had considered Congress as early as January but initially decided on the governor’s race so he would not have to commute between Washington, D.C., and Henderson to see his 12-year-old son.
He had done enough of that with legislative sessions in Carson City and three deployments as an officer in the Army Reserves, he said.
But after John Guedry pulled out of the race against Titus, Heck was asked to reconsider, and his wife helped him make the decision, he said.
“My wife said the family had always sacrificed to what is best for the country,” he said. “She said, ‘You need to be in Washington. Your family will sacrifice again.’”
Heck, a doctor, criticized the policies of President Barack Obama on the economic stimulus package, health-care reform and the war in Afghanistan.
Because of the stimulus package, he said, the federal government is the largest auto maker, banker and mortgage provider, “and now it wants to be the largest health-care provider with money borrowed from China.”
The Democratic plan, he said, would “drive insurance companies out of business, set rates and get between physicians and patients.” Doctors near retirement will choose to leave the profession early, he said.
He asked the group and other Republican women’s groups to launch voter registration drives to close the 40,000-voter gap between Democrats and Republicans in the state.
Stubbs, a Boulder City resident since childhood, told the group the main difference between him and his new rival is “he is a younger man, and I am a young senior. You don’t have to worry about me and term limits.”
A retired Navy chaplain and former Marine, Stubbs described taking the military oath of office to “protect and defend the Constitution of the United States.” His induction into the Marine Corps prompted him to read the Constitution for the first time, he said, and the Constitution is what motivated him to run for office. He filled an unexpired term on the Boulder City Council in 1993 and 1994.
Stubbs addressed illegal immigration, saying the United States should have a border guard patterned after the Coast Guard and develop a special operations training center near the U.S.-Mexico border.
Then special operations units could train along the border and do double duty by hunting down drug dealers and coyotes bringing illegal immigrants across the border.
He advocated repealing the 17th amendment, which set the current system for electing senators. Before then, each state legislature chose its senator.
“Senators no longer represent the people. They represent lobbyists,” he said.
Stubbs also wants to see the 16th amendment, which allows for an income tax, repealed, he said.
“I love my country. That’s why I’m here,” he said. “That, and I’m tired and my wife is tired of me yelling at the TV.”