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Nevada Is Special Test for Parties

Bill Clark/Roll Call
Former Nevada Republican Party Chairman Mark Amodei is considered to have the edge in a district that has never elected a Democrat since it was created after the 1980 census.

Democrats are coming off two special election victories — a closer-than-expected race Tuesday in Los Angeles and Hochul’s win in the Empire State’s 26th district, formerly a Republican-held seat.

Outside money is expected to pour into this race, as it did in the New York contest.

The national parties and groups such as American Crossroads and House Majority PAC, which spent heavily in the New York race, are just now beginning to evaluate and consider what type of resources to devote to the race. The two-month countdown to the Sept. 13 contest began this week.

“Nevada’s 2nd Congressional district is a tough district, but we’re keeping a close eye on it,” House Majority PAC spokesman Ryan Rudominer said. “Voters all across the country are outraged with Republicans’ extremist policies to essentially end Medicare in order to protect billions in tax breaks for millionaires and Big Oil companies.”

In a district where Democrats are outnumbered in terms of registration, the Marshall campaign is looking to make the race a contrast between the two candidates. The campaign has slammed Amodei for leading an effort in the state Senate that resulted in the largest tax increase in state history. The result, it hopes, is that Amodei will lose support among his conservative base and, more importantly, independents.

“With 12.5 percent unemployment Nevadans have a clear choice: Kate Marshall, who will create jobs and protect Medicare and Social Security, or her opponent, who sponsored a billion-dollar tax increase for Nevadans and wants to end Medicare and cut Social Security,” Marshall spokesman James Hallinan said.

Even Republicans concede that Reid, who won last year despite being among the most vulnerable Democrats, has built perhaps the most well-respected state party in the country. But the GOP will continue to tie Marshall to Reid as his hand-picked candidate.

“He’s got quite the machine out there, everyone knows it,” National Republican Congressional Committee spokesman Tyler Houlton said. “She shares a lot of views with him. It just makes sense that he would pick someone identical to himself.”

Democrats push back on that by focusing on Marshall’s record as treasurer and her efforts to cut spending and save taxpayer money.

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