Editor’s Note: The Pahrump Valley Times had a misprinted page in its 2020 Special Election section on Friday, May 22. Four candidates from Nevada’s Congressional District 4 were affected by this incident (Also, see note to readers from the Times on A1 in this edition). This writing only includes the lost content and doesn’t reflect the original writing in full.
The race for Congressional District 4 has a very large pool of contenders, including eight Republicans and six Democrats, all hoping to secure their party’s nomination this primary election.
The Republican field includes Rosalie Bingham, Leo Blundo, Jim Marchant, Charles Navarro, Sam Peters, Randi Reed, Lisa Song Sutton and Rebecca Wood. On the Democrat field is incumbent Steven Horsford, George Bucato, Gabrielle “Brie” d’Ayr, Jennifer Eason, Gregory Kempton and Chris Colley.
Those nominees will then head to the general election where they will battle it out with each other and two third-party candidates, Libertarian Jonathan Esteban and Independent American Party candidate Barry Rubinson.
Peters is a family man with his children’s future squarely in his sights and he said he wants to bring all of his vast experiences to bear at the federal level in order to ensure they have a thriving and free country when they grow up.
“I joined the Air Force right out of high school and was a K-9 handler for 10 years,” Peters detailed of his background. “I earned a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, a master’s degree in administration and a graduate certificate in organizational finance. I also decided to apply for officer training school and I became a second lieutenant. I spent a total of 20 years in military service. I have deployed four times to the Middle East, where I earned a bronze star and then I retired from the service at the rank of major.”
His two decades of military duty were then followed by his entrance into the corporate world, where he started by working for Allstate Insurance before venturing into the insurance business on his own, opening Peters Family Insurance, which now has two storefronts in Las Vegas.
On the reasons behind his bid for Congress, Peters stated, “I tell people, I did 20 years in the Air Force and four tours to the Middle East and I didn’t think I was coming home to fight open borders and socialism, but look at us go.
“My vision is to get back to our constitutional roots and actually have a representative who understands what the people want out of their country,” Peters continued. “We have swayed so far from that, it’s almost unrecognizable at this point. In reality, a lot of people put their Congress members and senators on a pedestal and the people in Washington, D.C. have forgotten who is supposed to be serving who.”
For Peters, there are three major issues he wants to confront and he feels that with his leadership background in the military and his business acumen, he will be the best choice to handle those concerns going forward.
“The economy. Up until a few months ago, we had the best economy ever, the lowest unemployment. That’s something that we will have to continue to work on for the next few months and years,” Peters stated.
Peters then turned to public lands, explaining that he has uncovered a number of economic development opportunities throughout the district, coupled with the local desire to see those opportunities become a reality. One thing standing in the way, however, is the various federal agencies that control huge swathes of Nevada’s lands. “As a congressman, returning some of those lands to the people of Nevada is top of the list,” Peters stated. “I am doing this because there is an incredible amount of injustice in public lands.”
Immigration is another area that captures Peters’ focus.
“Illegal immigration ties heavily into the budget,” Peters said. “The amount of money that is not going to education, is not going to pay off our deficit, is not going to our seniors, all of these things, and at the same time we’re spending $116 billion per year on services for illegal immigrants. Build the wall, fix our immigration problem.
Raised in California and a graduate of Cal State Northridge, Reed said she fled California in her early 20s and came to Las Vegas, a move she has never regretted as she loves the community in which she lives.
Reed holds a degree in environmental science and has done major course work in geology, knowledge that led her to a stint of working on the Kern River gas line, time that really solidified her love of the desert and the state.
“I was literally in the middle of the wide-open desert and got to see this beautiful pipeline being constructed, it kind of heightened my appetite for construction. So for the past 20 years I have been involved in development, construction, commercial real estate,” Reed detailed of her career experience. “I have worked in businesses development for various firms within that realm and what I like to highlight is the fact that in business development, all you have is your reputation. If you turn and burn that real fast, your longevity in the industry is not going to be there.”
She and her husband now own their own custom furniture company and she said her family is absolutely her reason “why” when it comes to seeking a congressional seat.
“You see this corruption that happens on this level of corporate business and the red tape that small businesses face, that just irritated me,” Reed detailed. “I am trying to make a difference. I have no intention of being famous or building my ‘brand’. My intent has always been about the people.”
As an example of her dedication to the people, she remarked that she completely halted all fundraising on March 15 in light of the COVID-19 outbreak, because she did not feel it was appropriate to ask for contributions at a time when people are struggling with unemployment. She said she finds it disgraceful that others have continued to fundraise, believing they should seek other ways to connect with voters.
This ties back into another subject Reed wants to take on, that of campaign finance reform. Regardless of whether she wins the election this year, Reed proclaimed that she is going to continue to work to change the campaign finance laws.
“It makes it such an unfair playing field,” she said, noting that money’s involvement in politics has become distasteful to many.
For Reed, who has suffered from pre-existing conditions since 2005, health care is another main platform. She noted that she currently owes the IRS $4,500 because she couldn’t afford the mandated health care in 2016, adding, “And that’s just wrong. Things like that, it’s just common sense in my opinion but again, you’re dealing with career politicians, they don’t have common sense. They don’t even have business sense.”
As for the incumbent, Reed said she’s none too pleased with Steven Horsford, remarking, “Horsford has been so caught up in himself… what is he doing for the residents in Pahrump, for the residents in Sun City Summerlin, for our district? It’s so frustrating… There is just no way to relate.”
Half the battle when it comes to government is educating representatives about real life and regular people’s needs, she asserted.
“I have been involved with charities most of my life, it’s always been my drive to give back,” Reed stated. “What better way to give back than on a federal level to help as many people as possible?”
Voters can learn more about Reed by emailing email@example.com or visiting www.randireednv.com
Lisa Song Sutton
Song Sutton is a small business owner with plenty of experience in community service and she wants to take that background and apply it to a new endeavor, serving as an elected representative.
“I have built four companies here in Nevada, so I know what it takes to build from the ground up. I am very involved in the community as well, I’ve served on multiple boards over the years with various nonprofits and during my time as Miss Nevada United States I did hundreds of community appearances, volunteering in schools, reading in hospitals and working with our nonprofits,” Song Sutton said in an interview.
She explained that President Donald Trump has been a great inspiration to her and she thinks it is high time for those in the private sector to come off the sidelines and take the wheel of government.
“President Trump left his businesses from the private sector and got into government and is taking the same very action-oriented approach that we do in business every single day. It just makes sense that we also should be doing that in government and you’re only going to get that from private sector individuals, not from these career politicians,” Song Sutton asserted.
She said politics was not in her plans but there came a point when, hearing from the community that they were disgruntled with the current office holder, Congressman Steven Horsford, she decided she had to step up.
“He’s gone D.C. on them and isn’t an engaged part of the community anymore and I didn’t think that was right,” Song Sutton stated. “We shouldn’t be taking taxpayer dollars to pay his salary when he is not working for us.”
First and foremost on the list of issues Song Sutton wants to deal with is the economy. “We’re going to have to rebuild this economy after what has happened with COVID-19. I mean, we have almost 500,000 Nevadans on unemployment right now. As a small business owner, I know what it’s like to build from the ground up, so I look forward to helping President Trump rebuild this economy,” Song Sutton said.
She added that focusing on the “America First” agenda is also key. “We’ve seen firsthand how dangerous it is for us to rely on overseas manufacturing when we as Americans and we as business owners are totally equipped to provide what we need. We need to give American companies a fighting chance and not allow all of this outsourcing to go on,” she declared.
In that same vein, Song Sutton said she wants to see more of America’s financial resources being put to use right here in the U.S., rather than having so much expended to the benefit of other countries around the world.
“We should be concerned for humanity, absolutely, but we have to note that we have infrastructure spending that we need right here and we are sending millions and millions of dollars to foreign countries to help them with their infrastructure… and that’s wonderful and great but meanwhile we are struggling to find two pennies to rub together to fix the roads in Pahrump. That’s crazy!” Song Sutton said.
Song Sutton finished by stating that she is a genuinely compassionate and caring person who just wants to put her skills to use for the people. “I’m so grateful for this opportunity to serve our community, serve our state and our district. I just hope and pray that I will emerge as the nominee because I believe I am the best equipped to stand by President Trump, rebuild this economy and build the American First agenda,” Song Sutton concluded.
Voters can learn more about Song Sutton by calling 702-718-9775, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or visiting www.lisa4nevada.com
Wood grew up in a military family and lived all over the country during her youth, experiencing the many and varied aspects of America. She attended Oklahoma State University and eventually wound up in Las Vegas as a result of her husband’s assignment to Nellis Air Force Base.
“I like to say the military brought us here and Clark County Fire Department kept us here,” Wood said.
Wood is currently a small business owner but she now wants to take her perspective on life and put it to good use as the representative of Congressional District 4.
“The reason I feel like I am the best candidate is because I have that longevity in the community,” Wood told the Pahrump Valley Times. “I know what it’s like to raise your children in this community. Las Vegas, Clark County, Nye County, we’re not like typical areas, we are very different.”
She said the core of her reason for running is her two grandchildren and her concern for the world they and all young people are growing up in.
“I am a constitutionalist, I believe we need to protect our constitutional rights. That is vital to me, I want to make sure they are protected so that our grandchildren, our nieces, our nephews, can all have those same rights. It’s getting scary now,” Wood said. She noted that small infringements lead to larger and larger infringements until a person’s rights are no longer secure and she simply cannot stay silent while that happens.
Wood said she has a fairly strong familiarity with the rural communities of the district as well as where she lives and that is very important for anyone wishing to represent the people of those areas.
“I understand that our rural areas struggle with health care and water and veterans’ issues. I may live in Las Vegas but we’ve gone to the rural communities, we’ve explored them.” Wood detailed.
When it comes to subjects that she wants to concentrate on, Wood said the economy would be first in line, followed closely by health care.
“That wasn’t an issue a few months ago but with the coronavirus, that’s changed. We need to work on getting our economy back on track,” Wood said.
“Health care is absolutely overlooked, especially in the rural parts of our district. Pahrump is lucky enough to have a small medical facility but many of them don’t even have that,” Wood continued. She said mental health in particular was in need of dire attention, underscoring Nevada’s high rate of suicide as an example of why that is so key.
“If we had more facilities, if it was included in our health care, we could get those numbers to drop, I am sure of it,” Wood contended. “And we need to take away the stigma. People struggle. You go to the doctor when you have a cold and it should be the same for those who need some help when they are going through tough situations.”
Wood remarked that she has a solid plan to address that issue but she did not want to disclose the details so her opponents would not be able to take them for their own. Similarly, she said she is already actively working on bills she would present to Congress, remarking, “We need to have a plan because if you don’t, when you get to Congress you’ll be scurrying and we don’t want to have to do that.”
As her interview drew to a close, Wood added, “My life is really good without this. I love being a grandma… and I understand that this will change all that. But I am willing to give that up to do what’s right.”
Voters can learn more about Wood by calling 702-381-4033, emailing email@example.com or visiting www.rebeccawood.us