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Nevada Republican legislator aims to defeat Rep. Susie Lee

Updated August 21, 2023 - 3:39 pm

Assemblywoman Heidi Kasama, R-Las Vegas, announced on Monday that she is running for Congress in Nevada’s 3rd Congressional District, hoping to defeat the other Republican candidates in June and then Democratic Rep. Susie Lee in November 2024.

Kasama said in her announcement that she is concerned about an increase in crime, higher living expenses and uncontrolled health care costs. She also said graduating students are unprepared to enter the workforce.

“This is not the American way of life I grew up with,” she said. “I will fight hard to change the direction of our country for the sake of my grandchildren and all Nevadans.”

If elected, Kasama — whose parents are from Norway and whose husband is an immigrant from Japan — wants to help Nevadans “achieve their own American Dream,” she said.

“Through hard work and grit, we built our American Dream,” said Kasama, who was first elected to the Assembly in 2020. “Every American deserves that opportunity.”

The Summerlin resident and real estate agent joins Steven London, former state Sen. Elizabeth Helgelien and conservative policy analyst Drew Johnson in the Republican primary field, according to Federal Election Commission candidate filings.

Johnson welcomed Kasama into the Republican field Monday by accusing her of being a “Republican in Name Only” and the “most liberal Republican in Nevada.”

“I’ve made my career fighting for conservative principles as a government watchdog, exposing waste, fraud, and abuse of power,” Johnson said in a statement. “So, I look forward to exposing Assemblywoman Kasama’s liberal record in this primary.”

Kasama said in her statement that she has never been afraid to work across the aisle to produce results for Nevadans.

During the 2023 legislative session, Kasama crossed the aisle to co-sponsor a few bills that became law, such as one that established an incentive program for the purchase of some zero-emission vehicles, and one that required the board of trustees of each school district to enter into an agreement with organizations that assist victims of power-based violence.

While Kasama co-sponsored several bills that became law, none of the bills of which she was the sole primary sponsor became law, such as a bill that would have required restaurants to stop automatically giving out water to customers.

Helgelien called herself the “clear conservative America First choice for Southern Nevada.”

“I’m the only proven leader in this race who has gone head to head against Democrats and RINOs to fight against tax increases and nanny state regulations,” she said in an email.

Contact Jessica Hill at jehill@reviewjournal.com. Follow @jess_hillyeah on X.

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