By Mark Waite
Outgoing Nevada District 36 Assemblyman Ed Goedhart, R-Pahrump, is endorsing Independent American Party candidate Janine Hansen for state Senate, while the person currently holding that job, Sen. Mike McGinness, R-Fallon, endorses Republican Assemblyman Pete Goicoechea, R-Eureka.
In a press release, Goedhart said though he’s a Republican, he’s endorsing Hansen. Goedhart said Goicoechea, the Republican Assembly minority leader, voted in 2011 to reimpose $1 billion in tax hikes that were supposed to be temporary and expire that year.
Goedhart said Goicoechea also received the next to lowest conservative rating among Republicans serving in the 2011 legislative session.
“We are indeed in desperate times. Unless tax hikes are taken completely off the table, tax hikes will once again be the default position of the 2013 Legislature, which is why I am only endorsing candidates this year who have signed the Taxpayer Protection Pledge,” Goedhart wrote.
He said Hansen has been a conservative citizen advocate in Carson City for the better part of 40 years, knows people, knows the system and won’t require on-the-job training.
“I’m a conservative first, a Republican second and if the only argument against her is that she is registered as an Independent American rather than Republican, well I have to say that’s a pretty weak argument,” Goedhart said.
Hansen advertised her endorsement in the Wednesday Pahrump Valley Times.
Goicoechea received a $10,000 contribution from the Senate Republican Leadership Conference early in the campaign. During the latest campaign reporting period he listed a $5,000 contribution from the Senate Legacy Political Action Committee. Both organizations are headquartered in Fallon, McGinness’ hometown.
“I appreciate his outlook on rural Nevada issues, so I wholeheartedly support him,” McGinness said of Goicoechea. He said it was his job to administer the Senate Republican Leadership Conference PAC.
“We found five senators and heartily endorsed him. We picked out the senators we thought could win and got in early and stuck with him,” McGinness said.
Those five senators would help Republicans take over the state Senate, he said.
Speaking of Goicoechea, McGinness said, “He was a county commissioner for 15 or 16 years, he was the minority leader in the assembly, he’s got a tremendous amount of experience in local government and in the Legislature so I think he’ll represent the area well.”
McGinness is barred by term limits from serving another term.
There was no division in the Nye County Democratic Party, central committee chairman Laurayne Murray said they endorse all Democratic candidates for office, including Harley Kulkin for state Senate.
The Nye County Republican Central Committee came up with a 2012 grading committee report on local and state candidates.
Candidates were asked if they thought an increase in taxes was justified; if they thought voters should show photo identification; what the appropriate limits were to the Second Amendment and appropriate ways for government to stimulate economic activity.
Additionally, state legislative candidates were asked if Nevada should enact a personal income tax; whether the state should collect a sales tax on the Internet; whether private contractors could replace state services; whether bills should contain Constitutional justification and what the Legislature should do about unfunded federal mandates.
Only Hansen agreed to participate of the three state Senate candidates, she scored 99.5 percent on the interview process and signed the NCRCC pledge promising to oppose all future tax increases, designed by the Americans for Tax Reform headed by conservative activist Grover Norquist.
Local candidates were also asked about ways to attract business; their goals and whether they would allow public comment on each agenda item.
NCRCC Chairman Bill Carns said Nye County Commission District 2 candidate Frank Carbone scored 96.6 percent after their interview, his opponent, incumbent Gary Hollis scored 77 percent. Both signed the tax pledge.
Nye County Commission District 3 candidate Donna Cox scored 94.3 percent and signed the tax pledge; her opponent, Ken Searles, scored 93.2 percent but declined to sign the pledge.
Pahrump Town Board candidates Vicky Parker and Bill Dolan declined to participate in the interview. Frank Maurizio scored a 92.5 percent, Amy Riches a 92.3 percent. Both Maurizio and Riches signed the tax pledge, Carns said.
Nancy Lord scored a 94.8 percent after the interview process for Fifth District Judge; sitting judge Kimberly Wanker declined to participate.
Pahrump Justice of the Peace candidate Louis De Canio scored 92 percent in the interview process, but Ron Kent declined to participate.
The NCRCC went on record opposing Nye County ballot question No. 1 to raise the county gas tax four cents.
Instead, the committee supports reallocating the government service tax on vehicle registration to the county road improvement fund.
The NCRCC supports county question two to dissolve the present Pahrump town board form of government. Carns said they support Republican principles of smaller government and reduced government spending.
The NCRCC opposes a state ballot question on special sessions of the Nevada Legislature.
Carns said scoring the candidates was meant to strictly help party members and was not necessarily for public consumption.