By Dave Maxwell and Collin Anderson
Former Congressman Cresent Hardy, of Mesquite, stopped in Alamo and Pioche July 25 as part of a tour of Nevada Congressional District 4, which he hopes to again represent if elected in November.
He met with a small group at Windmill Ridge in Alamo in the early afternoon and then held a meet and greet at Thompson’s Opera House in Pioche, before finishing the first day of the tour in Ely.
The remaining days took him to Round Mountain, Tonopah, Hawthorne, Goldfield, and Las Vegas.
Hardy was previously a member of the Nevada State Assembly, representing District 19. He was first elected to the chamber in 2010. He served as Assistant Minority Floor Leader during the 2013 session.
From 2015-2017, Hardy was a Republican member of the U.S. House of Representatives, from Nevada’s 4th Congressional District. He lost his reelection bid in 2016 to Democrat Ruben Kihuen who, citing personal reasons, decided not to run for reelection this year.
In the November general election, he will face another former congressman, Democrat Steven Horsford, who owns a home in Nevada, though his immediate family resides in Virginia.
Hardy declined to comment on Horsford, other than to say, “I actually live in the state I seek to represent. Our kids and grandkids have gone to public school here. We pay our taxes, drive on the same roads as you. My opponent does not.”
During the campaign, Hardy said he intends to focus on connecting with Nevadans in this district and reflected on the shared experiences that define them and him, as Nevadans.
“At the end of the day, the people who call this district home are extremely tough and resilient,” said Ross Hemminger, Hardy’s campaign manager.
Hardy told the small group in Alamo he really had no desire to run for Congress again, but was strongly encouraged by a number of people whose opinions he values highly. He filed for the primary in January.
“I am very nervous about the direction the country would be going if Republicans are not able to hold control of both the Senate and the House.”
He added, “Nevada people, as a whole, are tough, self-sufficient, and responsible. We have an obligation to fight back against those who would continue to, and might seek to, have Nevada become eastern California.”
Hardy labels himself as a Constitutional Conservative. “I believe strongly in the first 10 Amendments to the Constitution [the Bill of Rights]. All the rest are left up to the states to deal with, and not the overreaching of the federal government and its over regulations.”
Hardy was asked about Ballot Measure 3 in the Nevada general election. While he did not say which side he might favor, he noted that “if the measure were to pass we have to trust that our legislatures are going to do the right thing, to put in the right regulations, the right process. And there is not one person I know of in the legislature that has that expertise. It’s going to take some good guidance.”
He said he feels the upcoming Nevada governor’s race will be the most important in the history of Nevada. “We’re on the threshold of being eastern California.”
During his visit to Thompson’s Opera House in Pioche, Hardy mentioned one of his main pushes is to get the federal government to return ownership of public lands to the state. He said, “the funds shouldn’t trickle down from the federal government.”
Hardy shares a small-town connection with the more remote communities of in the district.
“I remember when there was 20,000 cows and 100 people in Mesquite. Now there’s 20,000 people, and no cows.”
He said, if elected, his main concerns will include helping provide infrastructure to the rural areas and improving the medical care in Lincoln and other remote counties in the state.