VETTE’S VEGAS VOICE: In the 4th Congressional District, black vote could prove pivotal
BY YVETTE WILLIAMS
In the battle for Nevada’s 4th Congressional District, the Democratic primary race is shaping up as one of the hottest contests in recent memory.
Currently, the candidates in the race include Susie Lee, the only non-politician; State Sen. Ruben Kihuen; and former State Assembly members John Oceguera and Lucy Flores.
According to campaign finance disclosures, Lee is leading the pack with total contributions of $664,745, operating expenditures of $91,603, and $572,977 cash on hand through Sept. 30. Kihuen is next with $364,972, expenses of $70,334, with $299,216 cash on hand. Oceguera and Flores were very close in their fundraising efforts, with $180,844 and $181,387 respectively. However, Oceguera has only spent $35,287, leaving him with $145,541 cash on hand; Flores is outspending everyone — with $102,494 in expenses and $73,543 cash on hand.
Although we have a long way to go, all indicators point to the likelihood of a three-person race in the June 2016 primary election. Although the district includes rural populations, this race can be decided in Clark County. The large African-American voting eligible population, coupled with high voter turnout, makes the Black electorate a strategically important interest group — albeit one that is often marginalized during election season.
With the high number of registered Democrats in the district, it should be an easy seat to recapture from the Republicans — but candidates have to give their voters a reason to go to the polls. It is important that they answer the hard questions, and share their positions on the issues important to the black community. The community can learn more about the candidates at the very first Congressional District 4 Primary Debate — scheduled for Nov. 16 at 6 p.m. To be held at Las Vegas City Hall, the event is hosted by the Clark County Black Caucus, NAACP, the Minister’s Alliance, and Las Vegas Black Image Magazine. Candidates confirmed to attend include Lee, Kihuen, and Oceguera; Flores declined the invitation. The event is open to the public, and will include time to meet and mingle with the candidates.
For more information about the upcoming debate visit www.CCBlackCaucus.com. Yvette Williams is founder of the Clark County Black Caucus. Learn more at www.YvetteBWilliams.com, follow her on Twitter @YvetteBWilliams and send email to ClarkCountyBlackCaucus@gmail.com.