POL­I­TICS Pre­views of two Assem­bly races

Re­pub­li­can: Hof­stein will have to choose sides

Las Vegas Review-Journal (Sunday) - - NEVADA & THE WEST - By Meghin Delaney Con­tact Meghin Delaney at 702-383-0281 or mde­laney@re­viewjour­nal.com. Fol­low @Megh­inDe­laney on Twit­ter.

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.

David Schoen

Michelle Gorelow

Daniel Hof­stein

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