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Cortez Masto casts herself as a bipartisan problem solver

U.S. Senate Democratic candidate Catherine Cortez Masto casts herself as a problem solver.

In November, Cortez Masto, a former two-term Nevada attorney general, will face off with Joe Heck, a Republican who represents Nevada’s 3rd Congressional District.

According to the recent poll released by the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Cortez Masto is in a dead heat with Heck for the seat of the retiring Harry Reid, D-Nev. The race is among most closely-watched around the country and presents a rare opportunity for Republicans to get the control of the Senate.

The two candidates have repeatedly criticized each other in their campaign ads. Cortez Masto said that in contrast to Heck, her campaign has been focused on issues.

“I’m proud to have been running on my record of working in a bipartisan manner to solve problems to help Nevada; Congressman Heck has been running a campaign based on distortions and distractions because he doesn’t want to run on his record of putting his political interests over Nevada’s interests,” Cortez Masto said in an email.

During her time as an attorney general, Cortez Masto said she raised awareness about domestic violence, opioid abuse, services for homeowners, and protection of seniors in rural parts of the state.

“But there is more we need to do. From expanding broadband Internet access to guarantee that all communities have access to high-speed Internet, to ensuring every part of this state has access to quality health care and education, I will fight for rural communities in the United States’ Senate,” she said.

As attorney general, Cortez Masto passed over 40 bills with bipartisan support that were signed into law by Republican governors. They included legislation to combat sex trafficking, protecting seniors from exploitation, and cracking down on drugs.

Cortez Masto also said that after the financial crisis, she secured over $1.9 billion in relief for Nevada homeowners who were at risk of losing their homes.

“As attorney general, I was not afraid to take on tough challenges and work across the aisle to get things done for Nevadans, and I’ll continue to do that in the Senate,” she said.

Cortez Masto said she supports Gov. Sandoval’s tax package that was passed last year to provide education funding.

“The legislation provides essential resources to our state’s schools. We need to invest in school construction and close the resource gap – right now we spend less on our students than 44 other states and Washington, D.C. That is unacceptable,” she said.

Cortez Masto said she is also in favor of Question 1 that would require background checks for private gun sales and but has “concerns” about Question 2 that would legalize recreational use of marijuana.

“For Question 1, as a proud gun owner, I support common-sense approaches to making our communities safer,” she said.

She said Question 1 is a “common-sense” measure to reduce the “unacceptable” number of preventable gun-related deaths in the U.S.

“Regarding Question 2, I think that there are several aspects we need to address, such as a banking system and our law enforcement resources, before Nevada legalizes recreational marijuana,” she said. “Having said that, I fully support decriminalizing marijuana and taking steps on a federal level to ensure that communities are prepared in the event that Question 2 passes.”

Cortez Masto will be the first female Hispanic U.S. senator if elected.

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