POLITICS Previews of two Assembly races
Republican: Hofstein will have to choose sides
Almost one-quarter of the voters in Nevada’s 35th Assembly District chose not to register with any of the major parties.
And that’s a figure Daniel Hofstein hopes to capitalize on.
Hofstein is running as a nonpartisan candidate in the southwestern Las Vegas Valley district, which has more than 40,000 registered voters. The seat is being vacated by Democrat Justin Watkins, who is not seeking re-election.
The district, which has a few thousand more registered Democrats than Republicans, has flipped between the two parties each year since 2012, when the district boundaries were redrawn.
Hofstein, a 31-year-old self-published author who hands out his book on the campaign trail, hopes he can appeal to the large base of nonpartisan voters and earn votes from those registered with the two major parties.
“This just seemed like the right time,” Hofstein said. “We need to unite, we need to work together. We need more independents in office, but it just doesn’t happen.”
He is facing face Republican David Schoen and Democrat Michelle Gorelow in the Nov. 6 election.
Hofstein is the only nonpartisan running for a seat in the Legislature this year. No independent has been elected to the Legislature since Emerson Titlow won a state Senate seat in 1964.
But Schoen, a 30-year-old small-business owner, said Hofstein would probably end up having to choose a side if he were elected, and voters have no security knowing where he’d fall if they voted for him.
“I don’t think he quite understands how the Legislature works. I don’t think he realizes he’s going to be forced to pick sides,” he said.
Schoen said he’s willing to work with Republicans and Democrats to focus on issues that matter in the district, including furthering economic development and working to relieve overcrowded schools. Schoen said his wife is a registered Democrat who supports his campaign and helps bring him a different perspective on issues.
He said that perspective will help him represent the community correctly.
Schoen noted that he is endorsed by both the Clark County Education Association, the local teachers union, and Nevada School Choice, an organization that supports education options outside traditional public schools, support that he called “a representation of me listening to both sides and carrying about issues.”
Hofstein’s campaign literature includes his book, called “13th Grade: Real World 101,” which contains life lessons Hofstein says he wishes he had learned in school, with chapters on money, sex, politics and run-ins with the law.
In it, Hofstein details a 2005 arrest on felony drug charges while he was a student at Arizona State University. The charges were eventually dismissed.
Gorelow, the 47-year-old Democrat running for the seat, did not return multiple requests for comment. In the Review-Journal’s voter guide, Gorelow says she’s the vice president of a nonprofit. Her responses indicate she’s concerned about the overcrowded schools, as well as the availability of health care in the state.