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Candidate Profile: Republican Jason Guinasso Talks Growth In AD-26

Julia Ritchey

Primary day is now a week away. And in some local races, like Assembly District 26 where there's no Democratic challenger, candidates are duking it out for a decisive win. Reno Public Radio's Julia Ritchey caught up with one of the two Republicans running for that seat. 

"So this is Assembly District 26, and as you can see, it runs from Incline Village and Crystal Bay, all the way down the Mount Rose corridor...covers Arrowcreek and the developments below Arrowcreek, and then jumps South Virginia, cover most of Damonte and Double Diamond, and then ends up in Hidden Valley."

Jason Guinasso is pointing to a huge wall map in a makeshift campaign room in his law office in south Reno. He's been hitting up every precinct in the district, talking to voters in one of Reno's fastest-growing areas.

"Our state I believe is going to be fundamentally different 10 years from now than it is is now. The decisions we get to make at the legislature over the next two or three sessions are really going to dictate what that growth looks like."

Besides growth, he says the number one issue he hears about from residents is education. Guinasso, a moderate, supports Gov. Brian Sandoval's sweeping education reforms and the commerce tax hike that funded them.

But the commerce tax issue has divided Nevada's GOP, which his challenger, Lisa Krasner, has seized on.

"My approach has been to look voters in the eye, sometimes tell them them they don't agree with, like I'm a fiscal conservative that considers revenues as well as expenses. And I'm not going to sign, as my opponent has, a tax-payer protection pledge that ties my hand from doing my constitutional duty to balance the budget and fund education."

The stakes are high. Lisa Krasner lost her bid for the same seat in 2014 by just 11 votes, and is now touting endorsements by the Nevada GOP, NRA and other conservative, anti-tax groups.

Meanwhile, Guinasso has picked up the endorsements of Gov. Brian Sandoval, Lt. Gov. Mark Hutchison and the Reno Gazette-Journal's editorial board.

If elected, Guinasso says he hopes to get past the infighting and continue the conservative reforms enacted by the governor.

NOTE: We also reached out to Lisa Krasner's campaign to give her final pitch to voters but didn't hear back in time for this story.

Julia Ritchey is a former reporter at KUNR Public Radio.
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