Danny Tarkanian admits that winning the newly created Nevada 4th Congressional seat this November is an uphill battle.
Tarkanian, a Republican, told a meeting of the Mesquite Tea Party on Monday, Aug. 6, it’s a challenge because the district includes heavily Democratic Las Vegas.
“Support for me in Mesquite and other rural areas will be critical to my election,” he explained.
Tarkanian is facing Steven Horsford, the outgoing Nevada Senate majority leader. The district was created in 2011 and carved out portions of Clark County, including Mesquite, Moapa, Overton and North Las Vegas, and combined them with part of Lyon County and all of Mineral, Nye, Lincoln and White Pine counties.
Tarkanian met with the Tea Party at the Highland Estates Hotel.
He quoted his father, Jerry “Tark the Shark” Tarkanian, the legendary former basketball coach for the UNLV Running Rebels. “Let’s do five or six things really well,” he said, referring to the role of government. “Government was created for limited purposes.”
Tarkanian railed against what he sees as the “socialist policies” of the current administration. He also outlined his position on several of the issues before opening the floor to questions from the group.
Speaking on energy, Tarkanian said he sees government as too restrictive.
“States like North Dakota and Alaska should be allowed to produce and sell the assets they have,” he said. “The tax system is too complicated and unfair,” he added, suggesting that he would support a fair tax system by cutting down many deductions or adding a flat tax and eliminating the IRS.
He said he would like to see the budget cut to 2010 levels, however, he was concerned that budget cuts would be politically difficult because Republicans get accused of “throwing granny under the bus.”
He also said he would support a term- limit bill.
He urged common sense in determining what cuts should be made. One example he cited was to eliminate the Department of Education and allow education to be controlled at the state level. “Immigration laws should be enforced,” according to Tarkanian, but he added the road to citizenship should be made easier.
When asked about negative campaigning, he said he has been the victim in the past referencing his unsuccessful state senate bid in 2004. He said he would not go negative despite the fact that he has lost elections to negative and false advertising. He won a defamation lawsuit against his 2004 opponent, Democrat Michael A. Schneider, but the damage had been done and he lost by almost 2,000 votes.
Tarkanian also defended his position on gun control saying he was unjustly maligned by some groups. He supports a ban on assault weapons but he is opposed to other forms of gun control.
The former star athlete is married with three daughters and a son. Wife Amy is Chairperson of the Nevada Republican Party.
Rick Crain, president of the local Tea Party hosted the meeting and announced that the next scheduled Tea Party meeting will be on Sept. 4 at 6 p.m. at the Highland Estates Hotel.