Las Vegas Sun

September 22, 2021

Currently: 73° — Complete forecast

Sun editorial:

House incumbents among those we endorse for June 9 primary


Wade Vandervort

Rep. Steven Horsford, D-Nev., speaks during a press conference held to celebrate Labor Day and legislative accomplishments of the Nevada delegation at The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations office in Henderson Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2019.

The spirit of public service is alive and well in Southern Nevada, as shown by a strong and diverse field of candidates competing in the June 9 statewide primary election.

This week, Clark County voters will begin receiving ballots in the mail for the primary.

Congressional, state and local offices will be up for grabs in the unprecedented all-mail election, in which voters can fill out their ballots and mail them in anytime before the June 9 election day. As voters consider their choices, the Sun offers our recommendations today in select races. (For a full list of candidates in contested nonjudicial primary races, see the end of this editorial. Not all races include an endorsement.)


Reps. Dina Titus, Susie Lee and Steven Horsford

The Sun strongly endorses the Democratic incumbents in Southern Nevada’s 1st, 3rd and 4th congressional districts: Titus, Lee and Horsford, respectively.

Voters had the good sense in 2018 to send all three to Washington and help Democrats regain the majority of the House. Titus, Lee and Horsford all have served commendably. They deserve another two years representing our region.

As for the Republican side, it’s a disappointing field short of public leadership experience and long on Trump-era extremism. We can’t recommend any of these candidates.

• • •

State Senate

District 18: Liz Becker

Becker’s background as a climate scientist, educator and longtime volunteer in the gun safety movement primes her to represent Southern Nevada on some of the most far-reaching and important issues facing the region. The winner between Becker and Ronald Bilodeau will face Scott Hammond, the Republican incumbent.

• • •

State Assembly

The Sun endorses the following incumbents:

District 10: Rochelle Nguyen (D)

District 14: Maggie Carlton (D)

District 15: Howard Watts III (D)

District 19: Chris Edwards (R)

In select races without incumbents:

District 2: Jennie Sherwood

In the 2018 general election, we endorsed Republican incumbent John Hambrick for this seat over Sherwood, a Democrat, based on Hambrick’s longtime experience in office and his moderate stance. Hambrick is gone, having been term-limited, and Sherwood returns to the ballot. She was a strong candidate then, and is a strong one now.

District 6: Shondra Summers-Armstrong

Summers-Armstrong’s experience as a union steward at the Regional Transportation Commission, where she’s worked for 20-plus years as an accounting technician, gives her an edge in the Democratic primary.

District 7: Cameron “CH” Miller

Miller gained political experience working on the campaigns of Tyrone Thompson, the popular state assemblyman who died last year. Miller also has been part of Democratic presidential campaigns and is the choice of the Assembly Democratic Caucus. He’s our pick too.

District 18: Venicia Considine

Considine, the director of development and community relations at the Legal Aid Center of Southern Nevada, stands out among the four Democrats seeking this seat.

District 20: David Orentlicher

Orentlicher, a UNLV law professor who co-directs the university’s Health Law Program, shines in the four-candidate Democratic primary.

• • •

Clark County Commission

Marilyn Kirkpatrick, Michael Naft, Hunter Cain, Ross Miller, Isaac Barron, Moises “Mo” Denis and William McCurdy II

The Sun endorses the two incumbents: Kirkpatrick in District B and Naft in District A. Both are Democrats. Kirkpatrick faces no primary opposition, while Naft is competing with Democrat Kenneth O’Sullivan. Naft was appointed to this seat after Steve Sisolak was elected governor in 2018. He has served capably and deserves a full term.

In District C, Cain and Ross Miller offer voters a compelling choice. Miller, the former Nevada secretary of state, is the most prominent of the six Democratic candidates seeking the seat. But Cain, a Middle East combat veteran who spent 10 years as a senior-level assistant to Rep. Dina Titus, would be a strong selection.

In District D, Democrats face an extraordinarily difficult choice. The seven candidates include Barron, a North Las Vegas city councilman; Denis, a longtime state senator; and McCurdy, who also served in the Legislature before becoming chairman of the state Democratic Party. We’re intrigued by McCurdy, who at 32 is a rising star in Nevada politics, but Denis and Barron have been superb in their positions. We don’t think voters could go wrong with any of the three.

• • •

Nevada Board of Regents

Swadeep Nigam

Of the two seats that will be on the ballot, the Sun will offer an endorsement on only one: Nigam in District 3. Nigam is a financial analyst who has served on the Nevada Equal Rights Commission and numerous other boards, including the Las Vegas chapter of the NAACP. He is exactly the kind of person who should be on the state Board of Regents, which oversees the state’s universities and colleges similar to how a school board oversees a public school system. In the other primary among the regents, District 5, the Sun actively chooses none of the above between Patrick Boylan, Nicola “Nick” Spirtos and Kevin Child. Nothing in their records suggests they’re suited to be regents; in fact their records are disqualifying.

• • •

CCSD Board of Trustees

Lola Brooks, Alexis Salt, Lisa Guzman

In District E, incumbent Brooks and challenger Salt get our endorsement in a seven-candidate field. Salt is a longtime high school teacher in the Clark County School District and has been a strong and visible advocate for both her colleagues and students at board meetings.

In District A, third-generation educator Guzman has drawn a slew of endorsements, including from the Nevada State Education Association, the National Education Association of Southern Nevada and the Culinary Union. We support her as well over her seven opponents.

• • •

Following is a list of contested Southern Nevada primary races in the June 9 statewide primary election, including the Sun’s endorsements in select contests.

Our choices are boldfaced. Please note that this list includes only nonjudicial positions.

* Incumbent

House of Representatives

1st District

Democrats: Dina Titus*, Allen Rheinhart, Anthony Thomas Jr.

Republicans: Joyce Bentley, Joshua Elliott Jr., Edward Hamilton, Citlaly Larios-Elias

3rd District

Democrats: Susie Lee*, Dennis Sullivan, Tiffany Watson

Republicans: Brian Nadell, Corwin Newberry, Melinda Robinson, Daniel Rodimer, Dan Schwartz, Victor Willert

4th District

Democrats: Steven Horsford*, George Brucato, Chris Colley, Gabrielle D'Ayr, Jennifer Eason, Gregory Kempton

Republicans: Rosalie Bingham, Leo Blundo, Jim Marchant, Charles Navarro, Sam Peters, Randi Reed, Lisa Song Sutton, Rebecca Wood

• • •

Nevada Senate

District 7

Democrats: Richard Carrillo, Roberta Lange, Ellen Speigel

The Sun believes all three candidates are good choices.

District 11

Republicans: Joshua Dowden, Edgar Miron Galindo

District 18

Democrats: Liz Becker, Ronald Bilodaeu

• • •

Nevada Assembly

District 2

Democrats: Eva Littman, Radhika Pochampally-Kunnel, Jennie Sherwood, Joe Valedes

Republicans: Heidi Kasama, Taylor McArthur, Christian Morehead, Erik Sexton, James Small

District 4

Republicans: Richard McArthur, Donald (Donnie) Gibson

District 5

Republicans: Mack Miller, Retha Randolph , Mitchell Tracy

District 6

Democrats: William Robinson II, Shondra Summers-Armstrong

Republicans: Katherine Duncan, Geraldine Lewis

District 7

Democrats: Cameron Miller, John Stephens III

District 10

Democrats: Rochelle Nguyen*, Jesse Holder

District 14

Democrats: Maggie Carlton*, James Frennell II

District 15

Democrats: Howard Watts III*, Burke Anderlson

District 16

Democrats: Russell Davis, Cecilia Gonzalez, Joseph Sacco, Geoffrey VanderPal

District 18

Democrats: Venicia Considine, Clarence Dortch, Charlene Frost, Alicia Ortega

District 19

Republicans: Chris Edwards*, Ann Black-Geudry

District 20

Democrats: Zachary Logan, Michael McAuliffe, David Orentlicher, Emily Smith

District 21

Democrats: David Bagley, Elaine Marzola

District 29

Republicans: Troy Archer, Steven Delislle

District 35

Republicans: Jaylon Calhoun, Claudia Kintigh

District 37

Republicans: Jacob Deaville, Andrew Matthews, Michelle Mortensen, Lisa Noeth

• • •

Clark County Commission

Seat A

Democrats: Michael Naft*, Kenneth O’Sullivan

Seat C

Democrats: Patsy Brown, Hunter Cain, Gary Hosea, Ross Miller, Jennifer Penney, Fayyaz Raja

Seat D

Democrats: Isaac Barron, Moises “Mo” Denis, Tanya Flanagan, Deepen Kothari, William McCurdy II, Jesus Moreno, Dillard Scott

• • 8

Nonpartisan positions

Board of Regents

District 3: Byron Brooks, Lachelle Fisher, Swadeep Nigam, Stephen Siberkraus

District 5: Patrick Boylan, Kevin Child, Nicola “Nick” Spirtos

The Sun actively chooses none of the above in this race.

• • •

CCSD board

District A: Andrew Cartwright, Kari Deike, Lisa Guzman, Amanda Kennedy, Liberty Leavitt, Jshauntae Marshall, Anand Nair, Michael Rowe

District B: Kasina Douglass-Boone, Cortland Hill, Jeffrey Proffitt, Chris Shank, Ebony Sherman, Jack Stanley, Bryan Wachter, Katie Williams Melton

District C: Antonio Bowen, Barbara Dreyer, Carol Ferranti, Evelyn Garcia Morales, Tameka Henry, Walter Jones, Noel Searles

District E: Lola Brooks*, Elysa Arroyo, Christopher Craig, Tiger Helgelien, Tracey Lewis, Christian Robertson, Alexis Salt