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Former ambassador lays out priorities in race for Senate

Dermatologist and former United States Ambassador Jeff Gunter thinks his background sets him apart from the other candidates looking to beat Democratic Sen. Jacky Rosen in November 2024.

The four-year Nevada resident threw his hat into the ring in early August, joining a large field of candidates that include veterans, a former Nevada legislator and a real estate broker, among others.

Gunter says his background in both foreign policy as ambassador to Iceland under former President Donald Trump, as well as his caring for Nevadans as a physician, makes him uniquely qualified for the job.

“I believe that I’m the only one who can beat Jacky Rosen,” Gunter said. “I have a depth and breadth of foreign policy experience. I’ve been running a small business for a long time and taking care of the people of Nevada. I proved myself in many ways.”

To Gunter, things have gotten progressively worse in the last two or three years, citing high gas prices and high costs of goods and services. Under Trump’s administration, he said, America was strong and had energy independence.

“It’s a crescendo of events that inspired me to come in,” Gunter said. “I feel, ‘If not now, when?’ And now is the time for me to try to make a difference, and it’s just a normal extension of helping people.”

His biggest priorities are growing the economy, lowering inflation and securing the border. If elected, the first thing he will do is examine how to fund and build a wall on the southern border, which will help curb the fentanyl crisis.

“I believe most people are not happy with what they’re seeing at the border,” Gunter said. “Most people believe it’s a disaster and not only for Americans on our sides, but what’s happening to the people that are coming across the border too.”

Since his campaign announcement, Gunter has come under fire with complaints from others that he did his ambassador job poorly, for his lack of a voting record in Nevada and for having Democratic voter registration in California. Gunter said as ambassador, he took care of America and provided a strong relationship to Iceland. He said he has been a part of the Republican Jewish Coalition for at least 15 years.

Gunter thinks he can appeal to nonpartisan voters, which now make up the largest voting bloc in Nevada, with his background as a physician and a small business owner. He started his private practice in California in 1992 and expanded it to Nevada in 1995.

“I know what it’s like to make a payroll, I know what it’s like to take care of people in their time of need,” he said. “I think what people are looking for is individuals who focus on particular issues that are important to them.”

Gunter is also aware of problems with the health care system and the doctor shortage in Nevada. He would like to see Nevada become a hub for education and medical research, and see more money invested in the medical communities in Nevada.

“There’s no reason why we can’t be a leader in health care here in Nevada,” Gunter said. “And I think it’s gonna take investment, it’s gonna take time, it’s gonna take energy, but I would say invest in the medical future of Nevada.”

On the issues:

On water: Gunter said the U.S. needs to invest in failing infrastructure and needs to be able to capture water in the West before it runs off into the ocean.

On the economy: Gunter wants to reduce taxes and regulations. He is “all of the above” with energy, believing that the U.S. should use all kinds of energy, from petroleum to nuclear to wind.

On whether he would support national abortion restrictions if he is elected: Gunter said he was happy to see the abortion issue given back to the states. He declined to specifically say if he would support national restrictions on abortion, but said he will support the voters of Nevada.

On global warming: Gunter said there is no question the Arctic is melting, but said the reason why is up for discussion. As a dermatologist, he said he knows the impact of a deteriorating ozone layer that filters the harmful rays that can cause skin cancer.

“I think what we can agree on is that everyone wants clean air, clean water, and a clean environment. And that’s, that’s really what I’m about. I’m about finding solutions for finding ways that we all agree on things and moving forward.

On the 2020 election: Gunter declined to explicitly say whether he believed the 2020 election was stolen from Donald Trump but said there were a lot of inadequacies with the 2020 election and that voters want election security. He said voters would rather focus on the future.

Contact Jessica Hill at jehill@reviewjournal.com.

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