(Annie Black) – In the last AnnieGram, I reviewed the results of Questions #1, #2 and #4 of our BattleGround ’22 Election Survey. Today let’s take a thorough look at the responses to the question I was extremely interested in…
Question 3: Should conservatives recruit and support primary challenges to incumbent Republican legislators who vote with the Democrats too often?
83.3% of you said YES. 13.6% said NO. And 3.1% were UNDECIDED.
The reason this question was of particular interest to me is because that’s exactly what I did in 2020.
I ran against and beat a wishy-washy GOP incumbent in the primary for Assembly District 19 who had the ignoble distinction of being the only Republican who voted FOR the largest tax hike in Nevada history before voting against it.
Now, two important things about this question…
First, what’s the definition of “too often”?
Of course, that’s something every voter will have to decide for themselves. But reporter Sean Golonka did an analysis the voting records of Nevada legislators in 2021 session. Here’s some of what he found for Republican members of the State Assembly…
“The analysis reveals that…on the Assembly side, Jill Tolles (R-Reno), Tom Roberts (R-Las Vegas) and Melissa Hardy (R-Henderson) most often broke with the rest of their caucus and sided with Democrats. …
“Tolles and Roberts were the only two Republicans in the Assembly to vote in favor of the new mining tax (AB495) – giving the bill enough Republican votes to overcome the required two-thirds majority needed for a tax increase. …
“Tolles and Roberts supported a wide range of Democrat-backed legislation, including measures focused on the economy, state government and criminal justice.”
Of the 104 bills analyzed in the study, here’s how often the 16 Republican members of the Assembly voted with the Democrats…
- Jill Tolles: 92
- Tom Roberts 90
- Melissa Hardy 82
- Glen Leavitt 55
- Heidi Kasama 52
- Lisa Krasner 36
- Greg Hafen 30
- P.K. O’Neill 19
- Alexis Hansen 18
- Jim Wheeler 6
- Jill Dickman 6
- Robin Titus 5
- Andy Matthews 5
- Richard McArthur 3
- John Ellison 3
- Annie Black 3
I don’t know what your criteria is, but if an elected Republican legislator voted with the Democrats more than half the time, I think that easily constitutes potential “primary bait.”
Which brings up the second point: What about claims by establishment Republicans that conservatives can win primaries but will then lose to the Democrats in the general?
This is an “old wives tale” that ignores an important strategic consideration.
First, in the 2020 elections, Matthews, Dickman and McArthur – who were decidedly conservatives with solid conservative voting records – all won their GOP primary races, WITHOUT caucus support, and went on to win the general election in decidedly “swing” districts.
Now maybe, strategically, you want to run more moderate Republicans in Democrat-majority districts. And I’m all for that. After all, majorities get to lead and Republicans need to win back the majority if we’re going to undo the damage Democrats have done to our state over the last three sessions.
On the other hand, Tolles, Roberts and Hardy all represent Republican-majority districts. So the simple fact is, they do NOT have to vote so often with the Democrats in order to win their seats in the general election.
And here’s the damage liberal Republicans in GOP-majority seats do: They give cover to Democrat candidates in future elections who, when attacked for voting for bad bills, are able to claim those bills were “bi-partisan.”
And they only need ONE wayward Republican to vote with them to claim a bill was bi-partisan.
Let’s face it. We expect Democrats to vote like Democrats. But we should expect better from the Republicans we elect.
As fiscal conservative Steve Moore of the Committee to Unleash Prosperity says, it’s not enough to simply elect more Republicans. We need to elect better ones as well.
So, yes, my AnniePAC will be taking a close look at recruiting, training and supporting conservative candidates willing – as I did in 2020 – to challenge incumbent Republicans who fail to live up to the core conservative principles of the GOP in next year’s elections.
I’ll be looking for candidates who communicate like Ronald Reagan, vote like Barry Goldwater and fight like Donald Trump. Which reminds me…
We’ll look at the responses to Question #5 – What should I do in 2022? – in the next AnnieGram.
FROM THE ANNIE-GRAM MAILBAG
“I am actually from Wisconsin, but I closely follow Nevada politics as my strongly conservative sister and brother-in-law (I know he’s in Annie’s Army) live in Vegas.” – Mary Canepa
“I’m not in your district. I subscribe to Annie’s Army because you are the only Republican that communicates with their constituents! Thank you for sticking up for us. A very frustrated Clark County Republican.” – Russell Gray
“We need more like you. Thanks for being my adopted assembly person.” – Ray Lake
“I would like to tell you how honored I was to meet you at the Dragon Ridge Golf Club on Tuesday. My husband and I are not members of the SHWR however we attended because we have been following you work. You girl, are stealing the political limelight in Nevada and we just had to come see you. What a breath of fresh air you were as you swept the others off stage with your insight and straight honesty!” – Sharon Rubottom-Howe
“So great to meet you at the meeting today. It was terrific hearing you speak. You are so AUTHENTIC! You are straightforward and say what you mean. You use two words to say what others take 22 words to say, carefully choosing each word for political expedience (so I know I’m listening to a politician). You are so refreshing.” – Paula Phelps
“My wife and I are new to NV politics and not knowledgeable about the inner workings of the Republican Party. … Let us know when you can accept contributions to your campaign.” – Scott Sturman
QUOTES OF THE DAY
“Those who say the blood of Patriots, you know, and all the stuff about how we’re gonna have to move against the government… If you think you need to have weapons to take on the government, you need F-15s and maybe some nuclear weapons.” – Joe Biden
“Biden has now called the ATF by the wrong name multiple times. He barely has a grasp on reality and he certainly doesn’t have a grasp on the 2nd Amendment.” – Ryan Fournier
“Brian Stelter’s (CNN) anti-Trump diatribe ‘Hoax’ tanks with less than 2,000 copies sold in its first week – despite massive book tour and launch party.” – Jack Posobiec
Annie Black is the Nevada State Assemblywoman representing District 19. You can get more information and subscribe to her AnnieGram newsletter by visiting www.AnnieBlack.net