Heller confident in Douglas

Staff Reports

The campaign trail took Nevada Secretary of State Dean Heller through Douglas County on Monday.

Heller is seeking to replace Rep. Jim Gibbons in Congress and is running against Gibbons' wife, former Assemblywoman Dawn Gibbons.

Heller a Carson City native who said he knows many people in Carson Valley said he visited with commissioners Doug Johnson and David Brady and Douglas County Clerk Barbara Reed.

"I expect to do very well in Douglas County," he said. "It is a very conservative district and a very conservative county and the right place for my message."

Heller feels the key to serving Nevada in Congress lies with three issues, taxes, the war on terror and immigration.

"The problem with taxes isn't the taxes, it's the spending," he said. "Congress has increased spending to the point where each person now owes $30,000. When I go to events and tell people they owe $30,000, no one gets out a checkbook. But they know their children and their grandchildren are going to have to pay."

The issue is that the number of pork projects included in the budget have gone up from 160 in 1987 to 15,000 in 2005.

"Congress should have to pull out each individual item and vote on it," he said. "There's no way they would have time, and that's a good thing. It would trim a lot of pork."

On immigration, Heller feels amnesty for illegal aliens in the country won't work, but favors the idea of limited guest workers.

"I talk to ranchers and farmers in rural Nevada and they have used guest workers for years," he said. "They go to Mexico and pick them up. They pay, feed, clothe and pay for their health care while they are here and then take them back after four months."

Heller said the legal guest worker system has worked well for decades.

He said he supports President Bush's policy of taking the fight against terrorism overseas.

"If we don't fight these battles in Iraq and Afghanistan, we will have to fight them here," he said.

Heller said the connection between Homeland Security and immigration is clear.

"If we can't keep our borders secure, than we can't protect the people in this country," he said.

Heller was born in Reno and grew up in Carson City. He delivered the Reno Evening Gazette to a quarter of the capital as a boy, including to Gov. Mike O'Callaghan and to the state house.

He served two terms in the Nevada Legislature and three terms as secretary of state.


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