Marchant aware, ready for Dems’ fight for Dis­trict 37 seat

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

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.

Jim Marchant

Shea Backus

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