Gardnerville resident Brian Dempsey knows getting to Washington will be a challenge, but it’s one he is more than willing to take on.
Dempsey, 36, filed with the Nevada Secretary of State on Monday as a Democratic candidate for Congressional District 2.
“I looked at all the seats in the area and I decided Congress would be the best fit for me. I want to make a difference, but I want to make a big difference,” Dempsey said. “The difference between me and somebody else is I’m not afraid to reach across the aisle. We need to put party politics aside and start doing what’s best for the American people.”
Nevada’s 2nd Congessional District has never been won by a Democrat. The seat is currently held by Republican Mark Amodei.
“It’s a big mountain to climb, and it’s going to be a tough race. Amodei has a lot of financial and political backing, so I knew taking on this challenge was going to be tough,” Dempsey said. “I know if I talk to the people and let them know my concerns and what I’m going to fight for, I can overcome Amodei.”
Dempsey has been campaigning since last March, driving the district and meeting with thousands of residents to gain an understanding of what’s important to them.
“Reaching people is the key. If I have to do it one voter at a time, I will,” he said. “Win or lose, meeting these people and hearing their stories, makes it all worth it.”
A graduate of South Tahoe High School, Dempsey moved to Carson Valley in 1996. After leaving the Marine Corps, he studied at Western Nevada College and built a career as a grocery store manager. He is a single father to his 6-year-old son, Ender.
“I’m just your average everyday person trying to make a difference. I havn’t been a career politician, I’ve been a worker just like 95 percent of Americans,” Dempsey said. “I go to work every day and work hard for my family. I have the life experience that other people have lived, and I know what they’re going through.”
Two of Dempsey’s biggest passions are equality and education.
“Women are getting paid less than men for the same job, and that’s not right,” he said. “And I have a 6-year-old son who I want to see get better educational opportunities. I don’t feel our government has done enough for our children.”
Dempsey realizes he’s the underdog in this race, but encourages people to contact him with their concerns.
“I want them to see that there’s a chance at making a difference. Once I get to Washington, there’s going to be a learning curve, but if we’re coming up with common sense solutions it shouldn’t be difficult,” he said. “What makes it difficult is party politics and the money that goes into lobbying efforts. It shouldn’t be about that, it should be about what’s right for the people.”
Democrats Vance Alm of Sparks and Ed Lee of Reno are also seeking the nomination.
For more information, visit www.dempsey4congress.com, or find him on Facebook.