Two swing House seats in spotlight in battleground of Nevada

Oct 13, 2022, 5:13 AM | Updated: 5:55 am
FILE - Rep. Susie Lee, D-Nev., meets with supporters at an event Nov. 3, 2020, in Las Vegas. As the...

FILE - Rep. Susie Lee, D-Nev., meets with supporters at an event Nov. 3, 2020, in Las Vegas. As they have been for most elections the past decade, two of Nevada's four U.S. House races are in the swing-seat spotlight as Democratic incumbents Lee and Steven Horsford seek re-election in the western battleground state. (AP Photo/John Locher, File)

(AP Photo/John Locher, File)

RENO, Nev. (AP) — As they have been for most elections the past decade, two of Nevada’s four U.S. House races are in the swing-seat spotlight as Democratic incumbents Reps. Susie Lee and Steven Horsford seek reelection in the western battleground state.

But for the first time in more than 20 years, Republicans also think they have a chance to turn a traditional blue seat red in a Las Vegas district as Nevadans struggle with some of the highest gas prices and unemployment rates in the nation.

Both national parties are watching Nevada, one of the few swing states Donald Trump failed to carry in 2016 and which President Joe Biden won by only 2.4 percentage points in 2020.

Six-term Democratic Rep. Dina Titus anticipates her stiffest challenge in Las Vegas yet against Republican Mark Robertson after Democrats sacrificed parts of their traditional stronghold during redistricting in exchange for some gains in the neighboring swing districts.

Horsford is slightly favored to fend off GOP challenger Samuel Peters in one of those: the 4th Congressional District stretching from the northern outskirts of Vegas into rural communities to the northeast.

In the 3rd district that runs through the Vegas suburb of Henderson all the way to the Arizona border, the nonpartisan Cook Political Report is among those that consider Lee’s race against Republican April Becker a toss-up.

Both are near the top of the list of races nationally that could help determine whether the GOP takes control of the House.

In northern Nevada, Republican Rep. Mark Amodei is all but certain to win reelection to a seventh term in the rural 2nd District, where no Democrat has ever won and this year’s challenger, Elizabeth Mercedes Krause, is largely unknown and woefully underfunded.

Amodei and Peters were among the Republicans who joined Trump earlier this month at a contentious rally in rural Minden south of Carson City.

Trump hasn’t formally endorsed any Nevada House candidates, as he has Adam Laxalt’s bid to unseat Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto and Joe Lombardo’s challenge to Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak.

But among the GOP challengers, Peters has aligned himself most closely with Trump in his race against Horsford, who won by 4.9 percentage points in 2020. Cook characterizes the race as “leans Democrat.”

A war veteran who lost in the 2020 GOP primary, Peters urged congressional Republicans to contest Biden’s election. He said he wouldn’t have certified it without obtaining more information and has advocated for eliminating electronic voting machines.

In addition to “election integrity” and “fiscal responsibility,” Peters has campaigned most on border security. His 11-point immigration plan begins with completing the wall the Trump administration began on the Mexican border.

Lee, now seeking a third term, won by 3 percentage points in 2020 in the district that has bounced between parties the past decade.

Both national parties are targeting the contest.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, a California Democrat, has helped raise money for Lee, a member of the powerful Appropriations Committee who enjoyed a 3-to-1 fundraising advantage through June 30 against Becker, a Republican attorney who narrowly lost her bid to unseat the state Senate leader in 2020.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, a California Republican, has campaigned with Becker and Republican National Committee Chairman Ronna McDaniel appeared with her at an Oct. 7 rally in Las Vegas.

Like other Democrats, Lee has emphasized abortion rights in the wake of the Supreme Court’s ruling on Roe v. Wade.

Becker opposes abortion with exceptions for rape, incest and harm to the mother and has the support of groups that oppose abortion. But she notes that abortion is legal in Nevada through 24 weeks under a voter-approved measure, so any federal limits on abortion would be unconstitutional.

Titus, the dean of Nevada’s delegation, is still favored to win a seventh term. But she’s complained that the shift of her newly drawn district into GOP-leaning suburbs makes her more vulnerable as she tries to fend off Robertson.

Robertson, a retired Army colonel and business owner, has focused most on reigning in federal spending, including by eliminating some child care subsidies and paid family leave, which he says should be addressed by state governments.

The last Republican to win there was John Ensign, who served two terms from 1995-99 and later was elected to the Senate, where he was serving a second term when he resigned in 2011 amid an ethics investigation into an extramarital affair.

Ensign’s resignation started a domino effect that led to Amodei winning a special congressional election in Nevada’s rural district in September 2011.

Amodei, now a senior member of the Appropriations Committee, has captured at least 58% of the vote since he won his first full term.

Krause is a member of the Oglala Lakota Nation, chairwoman of the Nevada Native Caucus, and co-founder of the Indigenous Educators Empowerment nonprofit. She had only raised about $10,000 through June compared to Amodei’s nearly $800,000 and has been largely invisible throughout the campaign.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Associated Press

Top exec at pharmacy in deadly meningitis outbreak sentenced

BOSTON (AP) — A former co-owner of a Massachusetts compounding pharmacy at the center of a nationwide fungal meningitis outbreak that resulted in more than 100 patient deaths has been sentenced to a year in prison for conspiring to defraud the federal government. Gregory Conigliaro, 57, as the vice president and general manager of the […]
8 hours ago
FILE - Paul Whelan, a former U.S. marine who was arrested for alleged spying, listens to the verdic...
Associated Press

Brother of Russia-imprisoned American says contact resumed

MOSCOW (AP) — The family of Paul Whelan, an American imprisoned in Russia for espionage, said Friday that he has resumed contact after unexpectedly becoming unreachable in November. Along with WNBA star Brittney Griner, Whelan is the focus of efforts by the United States to arrange a prisoner swap with Russia. The Associated Press and […]
8 hours ago
Malaysia's Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim speaks at a press conference at the prime minister's office...
Associated Press

Malaysian PM Anwar to be finance minister in new Cabinet

KUALA LUMPUR. Malaysia (AP) — New Malaysian Prime Minister Anwar Ibrahim said Friday he will also serve as finance minister as he unveiled a leaner Cabinet with many new faces in his unity government. In a move that appeared to contradict his anti-corruption platform, Anwar named the graft-tainted head of a smaller bloc as one […]
8 hours ago
FILE - New York Police Department officers wake up sleeping passengers and direct them to the exits...
Associated Press

National 988 mental health hotline back up after outage

WASHINGTON (AP) — The nation’s 988 hotline, intended to help anyone experiencing a mental health emergency, was back up and running Friday after a daylong outage. The call service, which was launched in July, was restored shortly before midnight on Thursday. People experiencing a mental health crisis were still able to reach a mental health […]
8 hours ago
Britain's Prince William greets people in the crowd after a visit to Roca on Thursday, Dec. 1, 2022...
Associated Press

Prince William, like his father, prioritizes the environment

BOSTON (AP) — Prince William became heir apparent less than three months ago, but he has already been crowned Britain’s chief environmentalist. On a three-day trip to Boston with Kate, the Princess of Wales, William is drawing praise for his efforts to draw attention to pollution and climate change and the need to scale up […]
8 hours ago
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis waves as he arrives for a news conference at Bill Baggs Cape Florida Stat...
Associated Press

DeSantis 2024 prospects prompt Fla. lawmakers to review law

MIAMI (AP) — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis may need some help from the state Legislature if he proceeds with a highly anticipated bid for the Republican presidential nomination. A “resign to run” law requires state officeholders to commit to leave their positions if they run for federal office. The measure, which has been on and […]
8 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

(Photo via MLB's Arizona Fall League / Twitter)...
Arizona Fall League

Top prospects to watch at this year’s Arizona Fall League

One of the most exciting elements of the MLB offseason is the Arizona Fall League, which began its 30th season Monday.
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet can improve everyday life

Quantum Fiber supplies unlimited data with speeds up to 940 mbps, enough to share 4K videos with coworkers 20 times faster than a cable.
Children’s Cancer Network

Children’s Cancer Network celebrates cancer-fighting superheroes, raises funds during September’s Childhood Cancer Awareness Month

Jace Hyduchak was like most other kids in his kindergarten class: He loved to play basketball, dress up like his favorite superheroes and jump as high as his pint-sized body would take him on his backyard trampoline.
Two swing House seats in spotlight in battleground of Nevada