Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate Danny Tarkanian made a visit to Eureka, Elko, and Lincoln County last weekend, and even visited basketball games in Alamo on Tuesday this week.
The Las Vegas businessman and attorney is running for the seat currently held by incumbent GOP Senator Dean Heller of Reno.
Tarkanian had also planned to attend a game at Lincoln County but changed his plans. He said that as a former player himself he really enjoys the games and a small-town atmosphere.
Tarkanian noted he is a strong supporter of President Trump and said, “We need people in the Senate who are going to support his ‘America First’ policies, and I have the courage and conviction to do so.”
Tarkanian said he had a full house to hear him speak in Eureka, about 150 attended in Elko, a fairly good group was at the Caliente City Hall in the historic railroad depot on Sunday, and a smaller group was at Windmill Ridge on Sunday afternoon in Alamo.
The Sunday event was held in the Caliente City Council Chambers. Approximately 20 people showed up to listen and ask questions. Entering the room, Tarkanian shook hands and introduced himself to those there. Introduced by Jim Shane, President of the Lincoln County Republican Party, Tarkanian thanked those who had come. He went on to say how his parents had taught all their kids the importance of giving back to the community.
Giving reasons why he is running against a fellow Republican, he said that public servants are supposed to make their decisions and vote based on what is best for their constituents, the people they represent. He said making decisions based upon what is best for their political future is not being a politician.
Tarkanian said he agrees with Trump on immigration. In regards to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) policy, he said the country needs to secure its borders first and then deal with other issues, with a DACA solution high on the priority list. He said sanctuary cities are wrong and that when someone is in the country illegally, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) should be called. He opposes birthright citizenship, welfare payments, drivers licenses for illegal aliens, and supports making English the official language.
He told the group that Yucca Mountain can be an opportunity for Nevada to become a leader in “Green Energy,” using the technology that France is using in recycling efforts. It should be turned into a reprocessing facility for nuclear spent fuel. This could be a great economic boom for Nevada, he added.
Tarkanian said he is a supporter of states rights. The marijuana issue was brought up and he said he didn’t vote for it, but it’s what the people voted for, and he stands with the people and states rights. He’s for vouchers for school choice.
At the end of the Caliente meeting, Dave Hurd said that in April the Lincoln County Republican Party will be having a large BBQ, and Tarkanian indicated he would be there with his family.
Since it was just a small group in Alamo, Tarkanian said he felt more comfortable just having an informal gathering, visiting around the table and talking about current issues.
He returned to Alamo on Tuesday and spoke before an assembly of students from Pahranagat Valley High and Middle School, speaking on what is involved in being a U.S. Senator and how the kids can start planning now for their own futures.
“I strongly believe in the president’s policies,” he told those at his meetings on this tour, “many of which I articulated … when I ran before, but didn’t have the catchline of ‘America First,’ which is very, very powerful. We should be helping American businesses first before giving out subsidies to other countries.”
Tarkanian has mounted unsuccessful campaigns for the Nevada state Senate (2004); Nevada Secretary of State (2006); the U.S. Senate (2010), Nevada System of Higher Education (2014); and twice for the U.S House of Representative, Nevada District 3 (2012 and 2016). He most recently lost to Democrat Jacky Rosen in the November 8, 2016, general election by a slim margin, 47 percent to 46 percent.
He said that Heller did not support Trump during the presidential campaign in 2016, “nor his America First policies.”
On the current tour he said he has been hearing that voters “are frustrated that politicians promise one thing when they run for office, then do something different when they get back to Washington, and voters want somebody back there who is going to support the president.”
He said the main differences between himself and Sen. Heller are issues over support of the president’s policies; supporting the repeal of Obamacare; not granting illegal immigrants blanket citizenship, but rather providing a path for becoming legal citizens; and their differences in support of federal funding for Planned Parenthood and its annual $543 million in taxpayer subsidies.
Regarding Obamacare, he said, “I see what’s wrong with Obamacare. It is greatly and adversely affecting middle class America with the high increases in health insurance premiums, plus the limited number of insurance plans to select from. My own deductible, for example,” he noted, “went from $1,000 a month to $6,000 a month, with the copay rising from $50 to $150.”
If he wins the June 12 primary over Sen. Heller, he will likely have to face Democrat Representative Jacky Rosen, who has now decided to leave her seat in the House and run for the Senate.
Tarkanian has filed a defamation of character lawsuit against Rosen for what he believes were “slanderous defamatory advertisements run in the last campaign.” He said, “She filed a motion to dismiss the suit, but it was denied by the court, and she is now appealing that to the Nevada Supreme Court, which might be delayed for some time. But in the general election this year she could not use those same slanderous ads as there is an ongoing lawsuit against her and if she tries to make up some other lies, we’ll be able to expose the deceit that she used the last time.”
Mary Cordle contributed to this story