Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012 | 9:31 a.m.
State Sen. Steven Horsford is going up on air with the first television ad in his bid for Congress—a powerful spot that tells of his difficult upbringing in urban Las Vegas.
“I grew up on these streets,” Horsford says as he drives through the West Las Vegas neighborhood in which he grew up.
“Right here is where we lived,” he says, pointing to a small mustard-colored corner house.
“And, there, that’s where my dad was shot and killed,” he says, driving past a non-descript strip mall. “I drive by it every day on my way to work.”
The story of Horsford’s upbringing has been well told throughout his political career, informing much of his work during his two terms at the Nevada Legislature. That personal story sometimes moved him to tears in committee meetings or on the floor of the Legislature as lawmakers debated education and other policy.
But it’s the first time he’s used his personal narrative in a television ad.
Horsford’s father was killed when he was 19. Horsford interrupted his college education to care for his younger siblings while his mom struggled with a drug addiction.
He’s now a father of three.
“My family now grounds me in what’s really important,” Horsford says in the ad. “So, when politicians say we can’t fix the mortgage mess, our economy and our schools, that Nevadans have to live with less, well, I say no way.
“We’re gonna fight for our future and I’m not going to back down.”
Horsford, a Democrat, is competing against Republican Danny Tarkanian for Nevada’s newest congressional district, which stretches from North Las Vegas through the southern half of the state’s rural counties.