By VERNON ROBISON
Moapa Valley Progress
A trio of political candidates made a campaign stop in Moapa Valley last week even as the polls for early voting in Overton were about to open.
On Friday, the local Power 2 Parent (P2P) chapter hosted an event which featured Republican candidates Adam Laxalt, who is running for Governor; Cresent Hardy, who is running for U.S. Congress District 4; and Michael Roberson, who is running for Lieutenant Governor.
About 75 people attended the event which jam-packed a large classroom area at the Old Logandale School.
Much of the focus for the event was on Laxalt’s run for the governorship. Laxalt told the crowd that the 2018 election will be crucial in the future direction of the state. If Democrats were to retain majority in both houses of the Legislature and also win the governorship the state would be launched on a completely different path, he said.
“If that were to happen, within two sessions we would see that the long liberal wishlist of the far left in California would all be fulfilled here in our state,” Laxalt said.
The candidate celebrated the great libertarian, western tradition of the State of Nevada, calling it “the Nevada Dream.” One of his top goals is to keep that dream alive, he said.
“We all need to work together to ensure that we don’t allow Nevada to be turned into a state that we don’t recognize,” Laxalt said.
Elected in 2014, Laxalt has spent the past four years serving as the Nevada Attorney General. He admitted that when he ran for the position, it was a long-shot. He had never run for public office before. But he knew how important the job was, he said.
“Many Nevadans were concerned because there was more federal overreach than they had ever seen before,” Laxalt said on Friday. “People were worried about our Constitutional system, their rights and American values. I knew that the Attorney General’s office could change some of that.”
Since taking office, Laxalt said he has worked to do that. He set up an office specifically to fight federal overreach in Nevada, he said. And he taken broad strides in that regard on issues like state water rights, proposed waters of the U.S. regulations and sage grouse to name a few.
Since that time, things have changed in Washington, Laxalt said. The Trump administration has seemed much more willing to partner with the western states in managing the land, he said.
“We have an opportunity now to go to the Administration and outline the things that we need as a state,” Laxalt said. “Most of all, we can send the message that we can govern ourselves, and not have the bureaucrats in Washington dictating what is best for us. As Governor, I will carry that message.”
In an interview with the Progress following the event, Laxalt said that improving education in the state would be a top priority. “Settling for the bottom of the heap in education is unacceptable,” he said.
Laxalt said that he would push for more accountability in education spending. He wants to establish an online “Education Checkbook” where the public can clearly see where education dollars are going in the state.
“It will be easy to use and it will show what money is going directly into the classroom, and how much is going elsewhere,” he said.
In addition, Laxalt said that he would push for initiatives where parents would have more right to choose what is best for their children’s education. He mentioned items like more charter school options, Education Savings Accounts and Opportunity Scholarships that would be specific areas of focus.
Laxalt also said that he would work on a shift toward more robust Science and Technology training in schools; specifically to provide for more technical and vocational training available in schools.
“We need opportunities for training and education to match up with the jobs for tomorrow,” Laxalt said.
He voiced the concern that, with many tech jobs coming available in the state, there may not be enough of a trained workforce prepared to go into those jobs. “Developing and educating a robust workforce has to be a top priority in economic development,” he said.
Laxalt also voiced strong support for both Roberson and Hardy who shared the spotlight with him on Friday.
He first introduced Roberson and complimented him on being a key Republican leader for many years in the State Senate.
Roberson said that he was pleased to see many familiar faces in the local crowd whom he had worked with in recent years, as a State Senator, to craft regulations for a 2015 law to reorganize the Clark County School District.
“I went into that a little naive, thinking that if we changed the law that the district would follow the law that we passed,” Roberson said. “That was not the case.”
Instead the district has dragged its feet in fully implementing the mandated reforms, Roberson said.
Roberson recognized many in the local community who had been advocates for the rural communities in Clark County who “…have not been getting the resources and attention that they deserve from CCSD.”
“I assure you that I will continue to fight that battle against the school district to bring reform,” Roberson said.
Roberson stated that, in the 2017 legislature, the Democratic majority ran rampant in pushing a very liberal agenda. He pointed to a number of bills pushed through with party line votes included bills allowing felons serving prison sentences to vote, establishing Nevada as a sanctuary state for illegal immigrants, earmarking taxpayer funding to providing abortion drugs and procedures, and passing egregious gun control legislation.
“All of this was moving us closer to being like California,” Roberson said.
“The only thing that stopped those things from taking place was the veto of the Governor.”
Governor Sandoval vetoed no less than 41 bills in the 2017 Legislature, Roberson said. “I think that is a record,” he added. “And frankly he could have vetoed even more.”
Roberson pointed out that both Democratic candidates for Governor this year had expressed support for these measures. “Both (Steve) Sisolak and Chris (Guinchigliani) are competing to see who can go further left on many of these issues,” he said. “Rest assured that we are going to see these things again in 2019.”
Roberson said that there was only one person in the state who would be able to stop all of that from happening.
“There is nothing more important that we can do right now than elect Adam Laxalt for Governor,” Roberson said. “The stakes couldn’t be higher.”
Laxalt then introduced Cresent Hardy saying that the race for Congressional District 4 is another incredibly important race for the future of the State.
“It is an opportunity for this part of the state and other rural areas to have the type of representation that you would like in Washington,” Laxalt said.
Hardy lauded the strong turnout at the event. He said that he had gone all over the state in similar events and seen strong turnout in the rural areas. While in urban Las Vegas, such events don’t usually bring even half of the numbers, he said.
“I’d just stress how important it is that the folks from rural areas continue to be engaged and turn out to vote in this election,” Hardy said. “Those votes make a huge difference.”
Hardy reiterated that the 2018 election could be a pivotal one for the state.
“For the first time ever, I am really concerned about the future of this state,” Hardy said. “I think that we are just one governor away from becoming east California.”
Hardy said that he was proud of the work that Laxalt had done in fighting for Constitutional rights and in staving off federal overreach into the state.
“He is willing to stand where he stands, even if he stands alone,” Hardy said. “And we need someone in the Governor’s office who is not afraid to do that.”
Hardy, who served in Congress in 2015-16, said that he felt duty-bound to return and continue his efforts there. Though he admitted that he didn’t necessarily relish the idea of returning to Washington.
“I don’t love it back there,” he said. “I don’t love the way things work there. Not many people back there do, except those who are a little wrong-headed. But I feel strongly about these issues and it has been a privilege to serve. I want to continue to fight against government overreach.”
The leadership of the local P2P chapter were pleased with the event. Chapter official Lisa Wolfley, of Moapa, said that she was pleased with the turnout despite the event taking place early on a Friday morning.
Wolfley emphasized that the state-wide P2P organization has not yet endorsed any candidate. Even so, the local chapter had felt that these three candidates would represent family values and parental rights in the State.
“We hosted the event because we wanted the candidates to remember who they are working for once they are elected and to remember what is important to us,” Wolfley said. “We wanted to make our presence known to them and make them aware of who we are and where we stand. I think that we were successful in that.”