During a campaign stop in Reno on Thursday, Ivanka Trump called Sen. Dean Heller “a doer,” thanking the senator’s supporters at the Nevada GOP field office and urging them to continue mobilizing voters in the final days of the campaign.
“I went to Washington, and I learned very quickly that in Washington there are talkers and then there are workers and there are doers,” Trump said. “And Senator Heller is a doer.”
In her brief comments, Trump, the daughter of President Donald Trump and a senior adviser, cited the senator’s support for workforce development and increasing the child tax credit.
“This man has been a true warrior,” Trump said. “And I don’t make too many [campaign] stops but I really wanted to make this one because I very much believe in him.”
Before Trump arrived, Heller described himself as being in a “close race” against Rep. Jacky Rosen, noting an unusual amount of enthusiasm and turnout for a midterm election.
“I will tell you this much: I have never seen the state of Nevada this well-organized, especially in a non-presidential year,” he said. “We’re not seeing presidential turnouts. But we’re not seeing non-presidential turnouts either. It’s somewhere in between. So that means there’s a lot of enthusiasm, there’s a lot of excitement out there. And our goal is to keep that level going for the next five days.”
With more than 500,000 ballots cast so far in early voting, more Democrats have gone to the polls than Republicans. But even if both candidates capture their base voters, the race is likely to come down to how many nonpartisans each Senate candidate can win over.
A supporter in the audience asked Heller a question about immigration and whether it would be possible to place a tariff on money that undocumented workers send back to their country of origin. The supporter suggested using money from a tariff to pay for a wall on the border.
“The wall’s going to get built,” he said. “And by the way, they’re building the wall now.”
But Heller said the wall would only solve part of the problem. He argued that the U.S. could not fix its immigration system until Congress passed comprehensive immigration reform.
“That’s not going to solve the problem,” Heller said. “That’s a part of the problem. The wall will solve part of the problem. E-verify will solve part of the problem…. There are a lot of little things that we’re chipping away at. The problem is we haven’t passed immigration reform [yet] in this country. We did a poor job even back when Ronald Reagan was president. We had an immigration package five years ago that passed out of the United States Senate, failed in the House. If that bill passed, we wouldn’t be having this conversation today.”
Speaking to his supporters, Heller pitched himself as a senator who has stood up for veteran services and helped usher in economic growth through supporting the tax bill.
“This is all about the future,” he said. “This race is all about the future. I want to see us continue to grow. Right now, the state of Nevada is number one in job creation.”
In Northern Nevada, the Democrat lead in early voting is much slimmer, and Heller, who grew up in Carson City and owns a ranch in Smith Valley, cast himself as the candidate for the North. He described an article in a newspaper in Southern Nevada that “telling Democrats not to forget about Northern Nevada.”
Although Heller did not cite any newspaper by name, the Las Vegas Sun published a story this week about gubernatorial candidate and Clark County Commission Chairman Steve Sisolak campaigning in the North.
“A newspaper down in Southern Nevada wrote a story telling Democrats not to forget about Northern Nevada,” he said. “I find that fascinating: You’ve got newspapers in Southern Nevada telling Democrats to come up to Northern Nevada and rural Nevada and to not ignore them.”
“You see that the candidates — the Democratic candidates — are doing all of their campaigning in the southern end of the state,” he said.