By Barbara Ellestad
Mesquite Local News
After a surprise win two years ago for a chance to represent Congressional District 4, Cresent Hardy (R) has a lot of competition in the upcoming election to keep the seat.
Hardy, a born-and-raised Mesquite resident, beat out Democratic incumbent Steven Horsford in 2014 for the newest congressional seat in Nevada. Horsford won the inaugural CD-4 election in 2012.
Hardy’s success in winning the rural vote in a district that spans six counties put him over the top last time around. In addition to North Las Vegas, Moapa Valley and the Virgin Valley in Clark County CD-4 boundaries include Nye, Lincoln, White Pine, Mineral and Esmeralda counties.
Hardy faces two other Republican candidates in the June 14 primary, Mike Monroe and Wayne Villines. Monroe lists a Las Vegas address on his candidacy filing and Villines lives in Pahrump, part of Nye County.
Eight democrats filed for the primary race where only one can emerge victorious. Morse Arberry, Brandon Casutt, Lucy Flores, Ruben Kihuen, Susie Lee, Dan Rolle, Mike Schaefer and Rodney Smith will vie against each other in the June primary.
According to the Las Vegas Review Journal, Arberry stills owes the state $121,545 from a misdemeanor conviction in 2011 after he illegally funneled campaign contributions from his Nevada Assembly run into his personal bank account. As part of the deal he avoided six felony charges and a stint in jail.
Kihuen, who doesn’t live in the CD-4 district, currently holds a Nevada state senate seat and reportedly is supported by U.S. Senator Harry Reid (D-NV).
Schaefer ran for Nevada state controller in 2014 but was denied a place on the ballot after it was determined he didn’t meet residency requirements. According to the Review-Journal, he is a disbarred attorney.
Lucy Flores served as a state assemblywoman from 2010 to 2014, when she ran against republican Mark Hutchison for lieutenant governor in 2014. Hutchison won the race even though Flores had the backing of Reid.
Philanthropist Susie Lee is running her first political race this election cycle. She has served as president of the Board for Communities In Schools of Nevada since 2010. Among other charitable organizations she’s been part of she was the founding executive director of a homeless shelter for single women, families, and single parents with children. She is also leads all other democratic candidates in raising campaign funds.
Casutt, a North Las Vegas resident, is also running for his first chance at elected office. His website lists him as CEO and Director of Skyler’s CF Foundation Inc. (presumably a charitable organization named after his son who has cystic fibrosis) and as president & owner of BJC Enterprises.
Rolle lists a Las Vegas address, presumably not in the CD-4 district. Smith lists an address in North Las Vegas.
One Libertarian candidate, Steve Brown, filed for the seat while one Independent American, Mike Little, also filed. Very little information is yet available on these four candidates.
Democrat John Oceguera, a former Assembly speaker, filed for the CD-4 seat but pulled out of the race before the filing period ended citing a lack of campaign funds.