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MUTH: The Great RINO Hunt: Checking in on Conservageddon ’16

Make no mistake. Before the first ballots are even cast in early voting in Nevada’s June primary elections, conservatives will have already chalked up a number of “yuge” victories against tax-hiking RINOs (Republicans in Name Only).

Indeed, four state legislators in Republican-majority districts – Sen. Greg Brower and Assemblymen Pat Hickey, Randy Kirner and Lynn Stewart – were so scared of facing angry GOP primary voters after voting for the largest tax hike in Nevada history last year, they quit instead of being embarrassed at the polls.

Then there’s the fact that every other Republican legislator who voted for Gov. Brian Sandoval’s $1.4 billion tax hike earned themselves a primary challenge. I believe that’s unprecedented in Nevada’s history. In the past, tax-hiking RINOs got away with such violations of core GOP principles. Not this year!

Here are some of the more interesting “Conservageddon ‘16” primary races to watch…

■ Senate District 6 (Clark) pits tax-hiking RINO Assemblyman Erv Nelson vs. Assemblywoman Victoria Seaman, who voted against the $1.4 billion tax hike last year.

■ In Senate District 18 (Clark), incumbent tax-hiker Sen. Scott Hammond earned himself what is expected to be a very spirited primary challenge from conservative Brian Wilson, a close policy adviser on gun rights to conservative Assemblywoman Michele Fiore.

■ Assembly Speaker John Hambrick is being challenged by conservative Kelly Hurst in District 2 (Clark).

■ In Assembly District 13 (Clark), Republican Majority Leader Paul Anderson picked up not one, but two conservative challengers, including political flame-thrower Steve Sanson, president of Veterans in Politics.

■ Assemblyman Chris Edwards (District 19-Clark) is being challenged in the primary by tea party leader Connie Foust. What makes this race doubly-interesting is that no Democrat or third-party candidate filed. So the winner of the GOP primary, under a new state law, will automatically become the next AD19 assembly member.

■ In Assembly District 21 (Clark), tax-hiking RINO incumbent Derek Armstrong will face conservative Blaine Jones. The interesting thing here is that Jones is the son of conservative Assemblyman Brent Jones, one of Armstrong’s colleagues.

■ Tax-hiking Assemblywoman Melissa Woodbury (District 23–Clark) drew a credible primary opponent in longtime GOP party leader Swadeep Nigam. Woodbury has escaped primary challenges in the past despite a rather liberal voting record in a Republican-majority district. No mas.

■ The other tax-hiking RINOs who drew one or more conservative primary challengers…

Assemblyman David Gardner (District 9–Clark) is being challenged by conservative Diana Orrock. Assemblyman Steven Silberkraus (District 29–Clark) is being challenged by conservative Amy Groves. Assemblyman Glenn Trowbridge (District 37-Clark) is being challenged by conservative Jim Marchant. Assemblyman James Oscarson (District 36-Nye) is being challenged by two conservatives. And Assemblyman P.K. O’Neill (District 40-Carson City) is being challenged by three conservatives.

May the best true fiscal conservatives win!

Chuck Muth is president of Citizen Outreach and publisher of NevadaNewsandViews.com. You can reach him at ChuckMuth.com. A longer version of this column can be found at MuthsTruths.com.

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