STEPHEN SYLVANIE / SPECIAL TO THE SUN
Saturday, Aug. 10, 2013 | 2 a.m.
Rep. Steven Horsford, D-Nev., bookended his week with a call to recruit campaign volunteers Friday after returning from heart bypass surgery Monday.
The first-term congressman spoke to a small crowd at his campaign office off North Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard Friday, assuring them of his health and touting his record during his seven months in Congress.
He then called for volunteers.
“I am asking you all to commit today and join Team Horsford,” he told the crowd with his wife, Sonya, and three children, Benjamin, Bryson, and Ella, flanking him.
Although he formally announced he is running for re-election, Horsford has already filed the necessary paperwork and has been fundraising for several months.
The meeting Friday was meant to attract Democrats, sell his record and inspire them to join the grassroots re-election campaign in Congressional District 4, which he represents.
“First and foremost, it’s about engaging our constituents in District 4 who were very much a part of our success in winning in 2012 and asking for their help and support once again,” Horsford said. “We’re a year and three months out from the next election, and with Congress obviously it’s every two years, and we want to make sure the voters of District 4 know what we’ve done and what we are working towards doing.”
Horsford lives in North Las Vegas and represents the city along with vast swaths of rural Nevada including Yerington and communities in Eastern Nevada.
Touting the ethnic and geographic diversity of his district, he laid out the early building blocks of his re-election platform.
He sold his first bill, the Lyon County Economic Development and Conservation Act, as a job-creating bill that would help open a mine in an area with high unemployment.
He also defended Obamacare, supported immigration reform that would lead to a path to citizenship for people illegally in the country, and noted that he’s opposed the Obama administration on things like the National Security Agency’s spying program.
He repeated his calls for Nevada to do better at leveraging federal grant money, noting that Nevadans pay more in federal taxes than they get back in federal grants.
He also again said that he’s made building a new medical school in Southern Nevada a priority.
He said he hopes volunteers will begin to work with him to take these messages to voters in the district.
“It’s part of what is required in order to have an effective campaign and being able to communicate your message,” he said. “We are going to be ready and prepared and organized and have an operation that allows people to volunteer and be part of the grassroots team, which is Team Horsford, and to help make the changes that we’re expecting out of Washington.”
He said he’s ready to use the August break from congressional work in Washington to knock on doors and walk his district.
He wryly noted he already has a physician-recommended walking regimen as a part of his recovery from a preventative six-way heart bypass surgery he underwent in July.