Monday, Nov. 17, 2014 | 12:47 p.m.
Rep. Steven Horsford isn’t ruling out a comeback.
Would Horsford consider a run for Congress again?
“Yes,” said a bearded Horsford in an interview outside House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi’s Capitol Hill office today. “Yeah, I would consider it.”
But first, he needs to figure out why his supporters didn’t turn out for his re-election.
Hardy beat Horsford by a vote of 48.5 percent to 45.7 percent, the closest race in the state’s Republican sweep among congressional candidates. But voter turnout in the district was low at just 43 percent.
Horsford said he plans to tour Nevada’s 4th Congressional District to find out why middle-class voters largely stayed home from the polls.
There are more registered Democrats than Republicans in the district. Of the 303,000 voters, about 130,000 are registered Democrats, about 97,000 are Republicans and about 70,000 are Independents or nonpartisans.
“In the end, the results would be different if more people who were eligible to vote voted,” Horsford said. “That’s simple.”
He said the low turnout should be a cautionary tale for Nevada Republicans, too.
Republicans in the rural parts of the district didn’t vote in higher numbers this time around than in 2012, the first election since the district was created.
“What the election results show me or tell me is, first and foremost, it was not a Republican wave,” he said.
Horsford said he felt his campaign did everything it could to motivate Democrats. Despite seeming to have the race locked down against gaffe-prone and in-debt Hardy, Horsford said, he felt his team got out their message.
“I’m very proud of the campaign that we ran,” he said. “And I have no regrets about what we did to communicate to the voters.”
Horsford focused his criticism on the $1 million in outside money that swept into the race in late October for Hardy. Whether that money, which came from the super PAC Crossroads GPS, affiliated with Republican strategist Karl Rove, changed the tide of the race is hard to determine.
But Horsford said he felt the outside money drowned out the voices of voters.
“I wasn’t running against my opponent,” he said. “Let’s put it that way.”
Horsford will spend his final few weeks in Congress advocating for a national monument at Tule Springs, pushing development of an interstate connecting Phoenix to Las Vegas and helping his constituents navigate the federal government.
After he hands over the seat to Hardy in January, Horsford will split his time between Washington, D.C., and Las Vegas as he figures out what to do next.
Whatever his that next move is, he said, it will likely include some form of public service.
“Whether I run for another office or not, what I am committed to is serving the community that has given me so many opportunities,” he said.