Marchant aware, ready for Dems’ fight for District 37 seat
Republican assemblyman Jim Marchant knows Democrats are coming for his Nevada District 37 seat.
They would be foolish not to, he says. In terms of voter registration numbers, it’s almost a perfectly split district.
Democrats have the slight advantage according to September 2018 numbers published by the secretary of state’s office. In the district, 14,993 of the 40,038 registered voters are Democrats, 181 more than the 14,812 registered Republicans.
There are about 8,000 nonpartisan voters and about a thousand or so voters in the Independent American or Liberatian parties. The seat has been held by a Republican since the district lines were redrawn in 2011.
But Marchant, 62, was first elected to the seat in 2016, and while he’s concerned, he’s also nonplussed.
“I feel pretty confident, but not overly confident. I know it’s a fight, I know it’s something I got to work for,” said Marchant, a retiree from the technology sector. “I was going to work for it anyway.” Democratic challenger Shea Backus, a lifelong Nevadan and local attorney, called her district “the ultimate swing district.” It encompasses the northwest part of Las Vegas, including Sun City Summerlin, a 55-and-older master-planned community that both candidates are focusing efforts in on.
Both candidates agree their constituents aren’t interested in new taxes. But Marchant wants to repeal the commerce tax and Backus said she thinks it’s necessary to retain to fund certain programs — and avoid the need to increase property taxes.
Backus, a 43-yearold first-time candidate, said that while she’s a registered Democrat, her lifetime in Nevada makes her appealing to all types of voters.
“I have a lot of Republican support just because I’ve been in the community my whole life. I have deep roots and I’m getting support that a traditional Democrat wouldn’t,” she said.
While canvassing voters, she said she’s convinced a few registered Republicans that she’s the better choice. She also noted she’s run into many people who don’t know Marchant is their representative, which gives her hope.
Backus said she’s a team player who would work on both sides of the aisle to create good policies for Nevada and Marchant’s track record shows he’s not willing to do that.
But while Backus is marketing herself toward the middle, Marchant said he’s certain she’d vote for “radical progressive” policies proposed by Democrats if elected.
“I say to people, ‘Look, I’m common sense,’” he said.
Early voting opens on Oct. 20 and the election is Nov. 6.