Perhaps one of the most contentious local battles of the 2018 election year, the Nevada Assembly District 36 race includes three Republican candidates in the June 12 primary.
Incumbent James Oscarson has been sitting as an assemblyman since 2013 and is seeking his fourth two-year term in office. Over the last five and a half years, Oscarson said he has been pleased by the progress made in the state.
“Look at where we are in the state today. Currently, we are the fifth best state to do business in, we are number one in job growth, we are recovering well from the recession. And that is the result of a whole lot of things but a big part of it is the changes that the Legislature has made in the last six years,” Oscarson stated. “I am most proud that the people have continued to trust me to do what I do, I am proud of the ability to represent people here and I hope I have the opportunity to continue.”
While the Assembly District 36 race may be heated, with Oscarson and one of his opponents, Dennis Hof, hurling accusations and insults at each other through various mediums, Oscarson said he preferred not to focus on the negative. Instead, he concentrated on what he said he would make a priority over the next two years, including veterans, seniors, health care, youth challenges and more.
On the water front, Oscarson said he is heading an effort to “clip the Nevada state engineer’s wings.” “We’ve got to make sure the state engineer does things appropriately. I already have a bill draft request in, to review what the state engineer does and make sure he doesn’t have this overextended power that he has right now,” Oscarson said. He remarked that the legislation was prompted by Nevada State Engineer Jason King’s issuance of Order #1293, which placed restrictions on the drilling of new domestic wells in Pahrump.
“I was as surprised by Order #1293 as anybody was… I told him I couldn’t support it and I would be working against him on it,” Oscarson declared. Changing the position to an elected position rather than an appointed one would be another method of ensuring the state engineer is held accountable, he concluded.
Voters can learn more about Oscarson at www.jamesoscarson.com
Nevada businessman Dennis Hof is perhaps best known for his brothel empire but now he is looking to add another title to his resume, that of Nevada assemblyman. Hof originally embarked on his political journey in 2016 when he ran against incumbent James Oscarson under the Libertarian ticket and ultimately came away with just under 40 percent of the total vote. This year, Hof is running as a Republican and is hoping the change will help give him the votes he needs to oust Oscarson.
“I have been doing business in Nevada for 42 years and own 28 businesses, including restaurants, apartment complexes, convenience stores, gas stations and brothels,” Hof stated. “The reason I am running is because I can’t trust our government, I can’t trust our leadership anymore because our current assemblyman has turned into a RINO, a Republican in Name Only.” Hof touched on Oscarson’s ex-communication from the Nye GOP as well as his record of voting in favor of taxes, including the largest tax hike in Nevada history, the Nevada Commerce Tax.
As such, repealing the “Oscarson Commerce Tax” as Hof has dubbed it, would be his first goal. Fighting to protect domestic well owners while also working with water rights holders for controlled growth would be key as well.
“I feel like in light of the report from USA Today that says our district has a 17 percent poverty rate, our unemployment rate that is 50 percent higher than the rest of the nation and our population growth has gone backwards two percent in the last five years, it has to change,” Hof concluded. “What we need in the Legislature is business people. We have proven that with President Trump. Business people make good business decisions. I think I can do the job better than someone who spent his life signing the back of paychecks. I sign the front of paychecks, I make things happen. I have employed over 10,000 people in the last 42 years and have had tremendous success and now, the new chapter in my life is to give back to the district and the state that I love so much.”
Voters can learn more about Hof at www.dennishof.com
Dr. Joseph Bradley
Board certified addictionologist Dr. Joseph Bradley holds a master’s degree in substance abuse counseling and education and he wants to bring his health care experience to bear as the next Nevada District 36 assemblyman.
“My reason for running, first off, is, I have been in the health care field here in Nevada since 2001 and I actively treat chronic pain and addiction. Right now, that is the No. 1 health care concern in the nation and here in Nevada,” Bradley explained. “And while I hear everyone talking about, I realized that they really don’t understand it or how to fix it. All the speculation, all the talk, all that does is perpetuate the problem because while everyone is trying to figure that out, people are suffering and dying. I clearly understand this more than either of my opponents and probably more than anyone currently in the Legislature.”
An imperative factor in addressing the issue of addiction is treatment in lieu of incarceration, Bradley said. “I’m talking about actually treating the problem, keeping families intact and keep them from having to go on entitlements out of necessity. I understand being tough on crime but we need to be smart on crime. When we starting treating diagnosable conditions as crimes, then we can’t wonder why it’s not getting better.”
Education was another area that Bradley said his professional experience could play a positive role in. “It’s so cliche, people say more money, lower class size. But that is not really the answer,” Bradley said. “Look at Utah. They spend less money per child and have a higher teacher to student ratio, yet they rank 17 in education and we rank 49. The problem is that we are not meeting students’ needs.”
One way to meet student needs, Bradley said, was to institute a program to have every school in Nevada turned into a Therapist Practicum Site, which would allow a licensed therapist at each school to supervise up to 20 master-level therapists that could provide 500 free hours of therapy to students. This would be attractive not only to the state but to masters-level therapists because those persons must complete time at practicum sites in order to obtain their license.
Voters can learn more about Bradley at www.doctorjbradley.com
Contact reporter Robin Hebrock at firstname.lastname@example.org
A closer look
For more on this race, check pvtimes.com