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Republican governor candidate Schwartz says Laxalt dodging debates; Laxalt doesn't rule out primary matchup

Michelle Rindels
Michelle Rindels

State Treasurer Dan Schwartz is accusing his main Republican gubernatorial primary opponent, Attorney General Adam Laxalt, of ducking multiple debates.

Schwartz said Laxalt, the perceived frontrunner, has not responded to a proposal made March 5 to debate on Las Vegas-based KXNT’s Alan Stock radio show. He also accused Laxalt of “stonewalling” the Reno Republican Men’s Club when they tried to organize a debate earlier this year, and said Laxalt sent a stand-in instead of debating at a Republican Jewish Coalition meeting in Reno earlier this week.

“This is beyond ridiculous. Surely, the hundreds of big casinos, lobbyists and big law firms supporting Mr. Laxalt can find a candidate who can hold their own in public,” Schwartz said in a statement. “Mr. Laxalt must believe that his family name and a pile of cash from the big casinos will get him elected. I wonder if Nevada voters are making the same bet?”

Laxalt’s campaign shot back, saying the attorney general has appeared at numerous speaking engagements around the state along with Schwartz and governor candidate Jared Fisher and will have another opportunity to do so this weekend in Fallon.

“For Dan Schwartz to suggest we are ducking him is absurd and shows the desperation of a candidate who fails to gain any traction in this race,” said Laxalt campaign spokesman Andy Matthews. “The record and travel of the last three months clearly contradict his ridiculous assertion. The fact is, we are running our own campaign on our own schedule, balancing Adam’s very busy official calendar.”

The Laxalt campaign said it hasn’t ruled out formal debates in the primary.

On the Democratic side of the governor’s race, Clark County Commission Chair Steve Sisolak has issued a proposal for a series debates and Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani’s campaign has offered a counterproposal.

Steve Sisolak and Chris Giunchigliani have donated to The Nevada Independent. You can see a full list of donors here.
This story was updated at 3:05 p.m. on March 16, 2018 to reflect that Matthews is a campaign spokesman and that Giunchigliani's campaign has made a debate counterproposal.

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