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NRCC’s Nevada Buy Signals Competitive Race

Bill Clark/Roll Call
Nevada Treasurer Kate Marshall and her rival for the special election, former state Republican Chairman Mark Amodei, are laser-focused on fiscal issues as they stump ahead of the Sept. 13 contest.

The reality is this is a Republican district, so we expect to continue to see very strong support in fundraising and from the voter contact that we are doing and will continue to do, Amodei spokesman Peter DeMarco said.

NRCC spokesman Tyler Houlton said that, with six weeks left, the GOP simply wants to highlight Marshalls failed leadership as Nevadas top finance officer.

In case there was any confusion about Marshalls political party because she failed to mention it in her first two TV ads launched last week the NRCCs ads both refer to Marshall only as Democrat Kate Marshall. The first ends with the word Democrat in bold and a picture of President Barack Obama with his arm around Marshall.

Both ads target Marshalls stance as a fiscally responsible steward of the states treasury and tie her to the states worst-in-the-nation economy.

There is some back-and-forth arguing between the campaigns over the accuracy of an oft-repeated claim that Marshall gambled away $50 million of the states money by investing with Lehman Brothers. The Reno Gazette-Journal debunked the claim Monday.

As for Marshall, her messaging strategy illuminates what Democrats see as her path to victory. Marshall is going after the heart of Amodeis base and is trying to spark interest among Washoe County Democrats in Reno at a time when voters arent usually focused on politics.

Republicans in this part of the state pretty much everywhere outside metro Las Vegas nearly sent Angle, a tea party favorite, to Congress five years ago and handed her the Senate nomination last year, Espinoza said. With that in mind, Marshalls campaign is using every chance it has to paint Amodei as a supporter of tax increases and to produce doubt about him in the minds of conservatives in hopes of suppressing turnout for his base.

Marshalls first two TV ads last week offered the messages the Marshall campaign wants voters to come away with: The Democrat represents sound fiscal decision-making based on her record as treasurer, and then-state Sen. Amodei in 2003 co-sponsored what would have been the largest tax increase in the states history. The campaign also plans to keep pushing the idea of protecting Medicare, a carryover from the messaging in Rep. Kathy Hochuls (D-N.Y.) upset special election victory in a traditionally Republican district in May.

In this election, voters have a clear choice between Marshalls proven, steadfast financial management and Mr. Amodeis reckless financial record, Marshall spokesman James Hallinan said, a talking point similar to one used by the DCCCs Jesse Ferguson.

While the NRCCs entrance signaled a competitive race, insiders are still waiting to see whether Democratic groups jump in. House Majority PAC spokesman Ryan Rudominer said the Democratic super PAC is keeping very close tabs on the race.

Early voting begins Aug. 27, so voters will actually have about two weeks to get to the polls. While that will likely help boost turnout, who shows up when this race is the only thing on the ballot is anyones guess.

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