Ruben Kihuen, Democratic candidate for Nevada’s 4th Congressional District race, plans to work on a broad set of issues if elected.
Kihuen, a senator from Nevada’s 10th District who will compete with incumbent Republican Cresent Hardy in November, named gun safety, protecting social security and diversification of the economy among the chief issues in the district.
Kihuen said he believes in “common-sense gun safety laws,” such as expanding background checks and closing the “terrorist loophole.”
On diversifying the economy, he said: “I was proud to chair the state Senate’s Economic Development committee tasked with diversifying our economy. I worked with Governor Sandoval and both parties on the recent education package as well as tax incentives to bring both Faraday Future and Tesla to Nevada. These are the kind of high-tech manufacturing jobs that strengthen our economy and will create new jobs that pay a living wage.”
Kihuen, who emigrated to the U.S. from Mexico at the age of eight with his parents, made equal opportunity one of the main points of his campaign.
He sought to draw a stark contrast between himself and his opponent, calling Hardy “an extreme ideological politician who is out of touch with the district he’s supposed to represent.”
“I believe that everyone deserves a fair shot like I had at the American Dream, but self-serving politicians in Washington – people like my opponent – want to keep stacking the deck against regular families in favor of those at the top. As a state legislator, I’ve always fought to help working families like mine get ahead. In Congress, I will work day in and day out to find real solutions that create jobs and raise wages.”
Kihuen was elected to the state Assembly in 2006 and served two terms before running for the state senate in 2010. He has also served as majority whip for the Democrats in the Senate in the 77th legislative session.
He scored endorsements from the outgoing U.S. Senator Harry Reid and Democratic Presidential Candidate Hillary Clinton. Most recently, the Planned Parenthood Action Fund, the non-profit political branch of Planned Parenthood, threw its support behind Kihuen.
Kihuen said residents in many parts of Nevada’s 4th Congressional District have similar concerns.
“As I have traveled the district, the issues and concerns I hear from voters are often the same: creating good-paying jobs, safeguarding a dignified retirement for our seniors, ensuring women get equal pay for equal work, improving care and services for our veterans,” he said.
In the rural parts of the district such as Nye County, Kihuen said he often hears concerns about access to critical emergency services and health care.
“For too many, life-saving medical care can be hours away. I believe we need to invest in rural health care, from building hospitals and health care facilities to offering tele-medical services to remotely connect patients and doctors,” he said.
Kihuen said he supports Question 1 that would require a background check for private gun sales.
He argued that the measure, “with some reasonable exceptions” will help reduce gun violence by keeping firearms out of the hands of dangerous individuals who should not have them.
“That’s why, in the 2013 legislature, I co-sponsored a background check bill that passed the legislature but was unfortunately vetoed,” he said. “Even three out of four NRA members support background checks on all gun sales – this is common sense and we should be able to find common ground.”
Kihuen said he was in support of medical marijuana during his time in Nevada’s Legislature but is still reviewing Question 2 which would legalize recreational marijuana.
”In my time as a state legislator, I’ve supported medical marijuana because it has clear benefits easing people’s pain and suffering through a wide variety of health challenges,” he said.
“I also supported the decriminalization of marijuana in Nevada because our criminal justice system shouldn’t be destroying lives and wasting taxpayer dollars over a small possession of marijuana. With regard to Question 2, I’m continuing to review the initiative before I decide how I will vote.”
Nevada’s 4th Congressional District includes northern Clark County, all of Nye, Lincoln, Esmeralda, Mineral counties and southern part of Lyon County.