Las Vegas Sun

August 21, 2018

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editorial:

Sun endorses Titus, Rosen and Kihuen for Congress

District 1: Dina Titus

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Dina Titus

Among all the candidates seeking election to the state’s four congressional seats, none has served Nevadans better, longer or with greater loyalty, good cheer, conviction and distinction than Dina Titus.

Titus, a Democrat, taught American and Nevada government classes at UNLV for 34 years until her retirement in 2011. She was elected to the state Senate in 1988 and served in the Legislature for 20 years. Along the way, she came up short in her 2006 general election bid to become Nevada’s first female governor and shifted her attention to the House of Representatives, serving a term in District 3. She’s now seeking her third term in District 1.

And consistently, her work on Capitol Hill has reflected a genuine bipartisan spirit with just one goal: to put ideologies aside and do what’s best for Nevada.

Titus was a pioneer in drafting clean-energy policies and worked to help Nevada tap renewable energy. She worked with Republicans in creating a committee of tourism officials from around the country — Las Vegas chief among them — who would lobby Washington for additional transportation funds. She was an early advocate of medical marijuana and is a gun owner who supports stronger background checks. As a member of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs, she has won bipartisan support to modernize the Veterans Administration and reduce the backlog of disability claims, supports immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship that already has won bipartisan Senate support, and has steadfastly opposed even a whiff of discussion to bring highly radioactive nuclear waste to Yucca Mountain.

Titus’ Republican opponent, Mary Perry, served eight years in the Air Force and is an attorney. She doesn’t have experience in elected office, having run unsuccessfully for Family Court judge in 2014. She said she’s running for Congress because “I hate seeing what is becoming of this country and how the politicians are forgetting that they are supposed to be working for the people and not themselves.”

The Republican Party knows that Titus is a formidable candidate and is laying low in this race, for good reason. Our hat is off to Perry for her spirit, but there is every reason to return the proven Titus to Washington.

District 3: Jacky Rosen

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Jacky Rosen

As in District 1, there’s a clear delineation between the Democrat and Republican candidates.

The more familiar name is that of Danny Tarkanian, the son of the late-and-great Runnin’ Rebels basketball coach and himself a perennial Tea Party candidate who has yet to win an election. He ran for state Senate 12 years ago, secretary of state 10 years ago, the U.S. Senate six years ago and Congress from District 4 in 2012.

Tarkanian’s candidacies have been hobbled by his extremely conservative positions — including that he would outlaw a woman’s right to choose an abortion even in cases of rape or incest, and a $17 million real estate bankruptcy.

Beyond his ultra-conservative politics and proudly serving as a Donald Trump acolyte — even after the release of the videotape in which Trump brags of sexually assaulting women — Tarkanian has been heard on talk radio spewing his own slurs.

In Jacky Rosen, a Democrat, we have a morally sound first-time candidate for public office who will bring thoughtfulness and a spirit of bipartisan problem-solving to Congress. She pledges to protect Social Security, stand up for women’s rights, support immigration reform and embrace commonsense gun laws. Rosen’s background includes serving for three years as president of Congregation Ner Tamid, the largest synagogue in Nevada, where she oversaw a $2.5 million annual budget and the installation of a sprawling solar-panel array.

It comes down to this: We don’t trust Tarkanian. We have confidence in Rosen, who is smart, reasonable and a proven community leader, to do what’s best for the district. She has our endorsement.

District 4: Ruben Kihuen

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Ruben Kihuen

The opposing candidates in this race cling to dramatically different values. Cresent Hardy, a Republican from Mesquite, was surprisingly elected to the seat two years ago over incumbent Steven Horsford when lethargic Democratic voters in the very blue district stayed home on Election Day. Previously, Hardy served in the Assembly for two sessions.

Hardy had fully supported Trump’s candidacy, then withdrew his backing this month following the release of the tape in which Trump boasted of aggressively groping women. Hardy is sympathetic to Cliven Bundy’s anti-government rants, opposes closing loopholes in background checks, suggests conserving Social Security funds by pushing retirement age to 70 or 75, has voted to defund Planned Parenthood, opposes the immigration-reform bill that won bipartisan support in the Senate and says that if he were still in the Legislature, he would have opposed Gov. Brian Sandoval’s bipartisan education-reform package in 2015.

Kihuen, whose family arrived to the United States when he was 8, was elected to the Assembly when he was 25. He served two terms and has been elected and re-elected to the state Senate, where he now serves.

His positions are essentially the opposite of Hardy’s. Kihuen wants background-check loopholes closed, a ban on the sale of firearms to individuals on no-fly lists, immigration reform with a path to citizenship and an increase in the minimum wage, and he supported Sandoval’s school-reforms package.

We endorse Kihuen for Congress and implore the district’s Democrats to get off their duffs this time and vote.

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