LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Nevada Democrats on Wednesday released the names of Assembly members who have decided to run for re-election, and the party has some holes to fill.
Republicans have been hammering Democratic incumbents, filing one ethics complaint and providing a stream of news releases alleging improper votes on money for groups connected to Assembly members. Democrats have countered that they relied on advice from the Legislative Counsel Bureau that said the votes were allowed.
Democratic Assemblywoman Michelle Gorelow announced on Sept. 1 she would not seek re-election a day after Republican activist Chuck Muth filed an ethics complaint over her vote to provide $250,000 in funding to Arc of Nevada. Gorelow was hired as executive director of Arc shortly after that funding passed.
With that announcement, Republicans began to describe more decisions in the same terms.
After an Oct. 30 announcement by Assemblywoman Bea Duran, the drumbeat continued.
“Nevada Democrats thought they were above the rules but they can no longer escape accountability,” Better Nevada PAC spokesman John Burke said. “The culture of corruption that has taken root in Carson City under Speaker Steve Yeager and Senate Leader Nicole Cannizaro must end. Nevadans are sick and tired of politicians who fail to uphold the public’s trust. Change is coming.”
Duran participated in votes that sent $25 million to the Culinary Academy. She has worked for the Culinary Union for more than 20 years — at the same time she served in the Assembly.
An opinion piece published by the Las Vegas Review-Journal — owned by the Adelson family, known to fund Republican causes at the national level — took the Legislative Counsel Bureau to task for giving poor legal advice.
Cameron “C.H.” Miller has been under fire for votes on Assembly Bill 525 (AB525) — the bill that funneled money to nonprofits. Miller was hired as president and CEO of the Urban Chamber of Commerce before he voted for $100,000 in funding for the chamber.
In all, nine of the 28 Democrats in the Assembly were missing from the list of members seeking re-election. That leaves a lot of questions unanswered leading up to the 2025 Legislative session. Democrats hold a strong majority in the Assembly, but incumbents usually have a strong advantage in elections.
The reasons for some departures are unknown, and some Democrats under attack from the GOP are leaving for reasons unrelated to ethics questions. Here’s the full list:
- Lesley Cohen, District 29, (announced Sept. 8, “I have decided it is time to take a step back from politics and focus on my private life moving forward.”)
- Bea Duran, District 11, (announced Oct. 30 she was stepping away “to spend more time with my family and make room for new voices to lead our state.”)
- Michelle Gorelow, District 35, (announced she would not seek re-election Sept. 1 after ethics complaint filed)
- Cameron “C.H.” Miller, District 7, (has moved out of the election district)
- Sabra Smith Newby, District 10, (left Assembly to take job as deputy city manager in Las Vegas)
- Sarah Peters, District 24, (wants to spend time with family, friends)
- Shondra Summers-Armstrong, District 6, (unknown)
- Angie Taylor, District 27, (running for state Senate seat)
- Clara Thomas, District 17, (running for state Senate seat)
The lack of more detailed reasons from some Assembly members feeds into the Republican narrative.
The criticism has surfaced in other news stories. On Wednesday, when Assembly Speaker Steve Yeager called for the resignation of Clark County School District Superintendent Dr. Jesus Jara, a statement from CCSD Communications fired back:
“Speaker Yeager has his hands full trying to keep his house in order, and distracting from those issues by meddling in the affairs of the District will not change the choices made by him and his members to improperly direct funds by members with conflicts.”
Democrats Venecia Considine and Tracy Brown-May, called out by Republicans for “vote conflicts,” are running for re-election.