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    Nevada’s Elected Officials to Play Key Role in Presidential Campaign Ahead of Debates, Caucuses

    Press Release
    August 12, 2015

    Washington, DC – Nevada elected officials who endorse candidates and actively support their campaigns should ensure presidential hopefuls recognize casino gaming as a powerful economic engine and job creator.  

    In a letter to Nevada’s congressional delegation, constitutional officers, state legislators and others likely to endorse, American Gaming Association (AGA) President and CEO Geoff Freeman and Nevada Resorts Association (NRA) President Virginia Valentine highlighted the important role the Silver State’s elected officials can play this election cycle in educating candidates about the thousands of jobs gaming supports and economic activity gaming generates. See the complete list of recipients below.

    “As an elected leader in Nevada, you understand that casino gaming is the lifeblood of the state’s economy,” wrote Freeman and Valentine. “And as you engage with presidential campaigns and candidates, officially or otherwise, we urge you to impress upon them the importance of supporting gaming.”

    Casino gaming contributes $53 billion to the Nevada’s economy, supports 425,000 jobs and generates nearly $8 billion in tax revenue. Direct gaming taxes make up 47 percent of the state’s general fund revenue. 

    “Some candidates require more education than others, and you can play a tremendous role in this education process. No matter which candidate you prefer in the upcoming caucuses, each of them will boost their chances of winning the Silver State by taking a stand in support of gaming,” wrote Freeman and Valentine.“Your counsel will play an important role in shaping candidates’ strategies and positions. We encourage you to take advantage of this chance to show your candidate the ins-and-outs of our dynamic industry and introduce them to the thousands of gaming employees who are also voters.”

    They also warned of repercussions that can result from seemingly innocuous statements about Las Vegas.

    “As you know, decisions and comments from federal officials can negatively affect gaming – as well as Las Vegas overall and the hardworking Nevadans we employ. For example, in a speech shortly after he took office, President Obama discouraged business travel to Las Vegas and other destinations—and his comments cost the industry hundreds of millions of dollars in the midst of the Great Recession,” wrote Freeman and Valentine. “It’s our responsibility to get ahead of potentially harmful comments and policy proposals by ensuring elected leaders fully understand our business. At the end of the day, everyone in Nevada will benefit from a proactive approach.” 

    Las Vegas will host the first Democratic debate of the 2016 cycle in October, while Nevada will host the GOP field for a debate in December. Both precede the February caucuses in Nevada, the third state to weigh in on the candidates and the first in the West.

    The letter is part of the first-ever initiative by the gaming industry, called “Gaming Votes,” to educate candidates about the industry and inform employees about candidates.  

    About NRA: The Nevada Resort Association is the primary advocacy voice for Nevada’s gaming and resort industry. Established in 1965, the NRA represents the state’s largest industry and provides information, perspective and industry insight for decision makers throughout the state.

    About AGA: The American Gaming Association is the premier national trade group representing the $240 billion U.S. casino industry, which supports 1.7 million jobs in 40 states.  AGA members include commercial and tribal casino operators, suppliers and other entities affiliated with the gaming industry.  It is the mission of the AGA to be the single most effective champion of the industry, relentlessly protecting against harmful and often misinformed public policies, and paving a path for growth, innovation and reinvestment.

    Recipients of AGA-NRA letter


    Brian Sandoval, Governor

    Mark Hutchison, Lieutenant governor

    Adam Laxalt, Attorney general

    Barbara Cegavske, Secretary of state

    Dan Schwartz, Treasurer

    Ron Knecht, State controller

    Harry Reid, U.S. Senator

    Dean Heller, U.S. Senator

    Joe Heck, Congressman

    Cresent Hardy, Congressman

    Dina Titus, Congresswoman

    Mark Amodei, Congressman

    Michael Roberson, State senate majority leader

    Aaron Ford, Senate minority leader

    Patricia Farley, State senator

    Pat Spearman, State senator

    Ruben Kihuen, State senator

    Tick Segerblom, State senator

    Scott Hammond, State senate majority whip

    Donald (Don) G. Gustavson, State senator

    Joseph (Joe) P. Hardy, Senate president pro tempore

    Ben Kieckhefer, State senate assistant majority leader

    Mark Lipparelli, State senator

    Debbie Smith, State senate assistant minority leader

    David R. Parks, State senator

    James A. Settelmeyer, State senate majority whip

    Mark A. Manendo, State senator

    Joyce Woodhouse, State senator

    Becky Harris, State senator

    Kelvin Atkinson, State senate minority whip

    Moises (Mo) Denis, State senator

    Pete Goicoechea, State senator

    Greg Brower, State senator

    Melissa Woodbury, Assemblyman

    Jim Wheeler, Assemblyman

    Glenn E. Trowbridge, Assemblyman

    Robin L. Titus, Assemblywoman

    Tyrone Thompson, Assemblyman

    Heidi Swank, Assemblywoman

    Michael C. Sprinkle, Assemblyman

    Ellen B. Spiegel, Assemblywoman

    Stephen H. Silberkraus, Assemblyman

    Victoria Seaman, Assemblywoman

    James Oscarson, Assemblyman

    James Ohrenschall, Assemblyman

    Philip “P.K.” O’Neill, Assemblyman

    Dina Neal, Assemblywoman

    Harvey J. Munford, Assemblyman

    Randy Kirner, Assemblyman

    Marilyn Kirkpatrick, Assemblywoman

    Brent A. Jones, Assemblyman

    Amber Joiner, Assemblywoman

    Ira Hansen, Assemblyman

    John Hambrick, Assemblyman

    David M. Gardner, Assemblyman

    Edgar Flores, Assemblyman

    Michele Fiore, Assemblywoman

    John C. Ellison, Assemblyman

    Chris Edwards, Assemblyman

    Victoria A. Dooling, Assemblwoman

    Jill Dickman, Assemblywoman

    Olivia Diaz, Assemblywoman

    Richard Carrillo, Assemblyman

    Maggie Carlton, Assemblywoman

    Irene Bustamante Adams, Assemblywoman

    Teresa Benitez-Thompson, Assemblywoman

    Derek Armstrong, Assemblyman

    Elliot T. Anderson, Assemblyman

    Paul Anderson, Assemblyman

    Nelson Araujo, Assemblyman

    Erv Nelson, Assemblyman

    Shelly Shelton, Assemblywoman

    John Moore, Assemblyman

    Lynn Stewart, Assemblyman

    Pat Hickey, Assemblyman

    Carolyn Goodman, Las Vegas mayor

    Steve Sisolak, Clark County commissioner (chair)


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