DeVoe Kicks Off Run for House in Nevada

Sat March 20, 2004 - West Edition

LAS VEGAS (AP) A construction worker kicked off his congressional campaign March 10, becoming the first Democrat to enter the race to unseat Republican Rep. Jon Porter.

Rick DeVoe, 47, said he was challenging Porter because the first-term congressman is a “rubber stamp for George Bush.”

“Jon Porter has not distinguished himself in office in the sense of any separation from Bush policies,” DeVoe said.

Porter’s campaign consultant Mike Slanker said the congressman is proud of what President Bush has accomplished, but the campaign “is going to be about southern Nevada and who can be most effective.”

Slanker said Porter has “moved mountains,” obtaining more than $1 million in additional education funds.

DeVoe said he plans to focus on three issues at the start of his campaign: his support of same-sex marriage, his opposition to nuclear power and his criticism of the war on terrorism. DeVoe said he also supports limiting growth.

“We have to have an open debate about how to proceed with controlled growth that takes into consideration the sustainability and quality of life here in Nevada,” DeVoe said.

Besides DeVoe, former casino executive Tom Gallagher is considering a bid against Porter, who has already raised about $1 million for his re-election campaign.

The district has a slight Republican voter advantage, with 137,965 registered Republicans and 136,115 registered Democrats. It also has 53,060 registered nonpartisan voters.