Far-right Republicans compete in CD4 primary before facing a well-funded Horsford

By: - May 27, 2022 6:05 am
Rep. Steven Horsford

Rep. Steven Horsford during an interview at the Nevada Current office in early 2020. (Photo: Jeniffer Solis)

Heading into the June primary for the 4th Congressional District, incumbent U.S. Rep. Steven Horsford faces no Democratic opponents and holds a nearly $2 million war chest ahead of the November general election.

He will face one of three Republican candidates: Assemblywoman Annie Black, retired U.S. Air Force Major and insurance company owner Samuel Peters, and Chance Bonaventura, the chief of staff of Las Vegas City Councilwoman Michele Fiore.

Black and Peters, who earned a dual endorsement from the Nevada Republican Party, are running toward the right by embracing pro-Trump and conservative talking points in an attempt to secure the nomination.

Horsford first won the district in 2012 but was unseated in the red wave of 2014. He regained the seat in 2018 and successfully defended it in 2020..

During the 2021 redistricting process, state lawmakers shifted more Democrats out of the 1st Congressional District into CD4, but the area is seen as a political “toss up” according to The Cook Political Report. 

Historically, the party out of power has typically regained either the House or Senate – or both – in a midterm election. With frustration over rising inflation, Republicans see an opening for another red wave and a chance to reclaim CD4, which they haven’t held since 2014.

No Republican candidate has come close to competing in fundraising against Horsford, who has raised nearly $2.4 million with $1.9 million cash on hand according to Federal Elections Commission campaign filings from March 31. 

Filings show Peters leading in fundraising with $636,739, nearly double Black’s $327,264. They have $203,531 and $292,548 cash on hand, respectively. 

Bonaventura has raised $6,547 and has $441 cash on hand. 

Black, who entered politics in 2018 when she won a seat as a Mesquite City Councilwoman, defeated District 19 Republican incumbent Assemblyman Chris Edwards in the 2020 primary.

She didn’t face a Democratic opponent in the 2020 November general election. 

Peters ran for the 4th Congressional District in 2020 but lost the Republican primary to Jim Marchant, a current candidate for Nevada secretary of state. 

Black, who attended the “Stop the Steal” on Jan. 6 but says she never breached the Capitol, was censured during the 2021 Legislative session for refusing to wear a mask or provide proof of vaccination status. 

Anti-mask and vaccination hesitancy has become a staple of the the far-right, pro-Trump movement. 

Of the seven Nevada lawmakers who are part of at least one far-right Facebook group, Black a member of two covid-denial groups (Re-Open Nevada and Bare Face is Legal) and one group associated with Q-anon (Fed up Conservative Patriots).

Peters has secured endorsements from sitting members of Congress, including Arizona Reps. Paul Gosar and Andy Biggs, both members of the far-right House Freedom Caucus, as well as controversial Republican politicians and personalities including Sheriff Joe Arpaio and far right talk radio host Wayne Allyn Root.

Black has criticized Peters for sending out a mailer featuring former President Donald Trump shaking hands with conservative singer Ted Nugent.

Nugent endorsed Peters. Trump has not endorsed anyone in the CD4 GOP primary.

“The mailer is very deceptive, even if it’s not an outright lie,” Black wrote on her website. “And when a candidate isn’t willing to play it straight with you on the campaign trail, you can bet he won’t play it straight with you if he’s elected.”

Similar to other conservatives running, the three Nevada candidates have identified campaign issues around “election integrity” and voting reforms, border security and protecting the Second Amendment.

Following a leaked draft opinion earlier in May showing the Supreme Court of the United States is gearing up to overrule the landmark 1973 case Roe v. Wade that legalized abortion, there have been frequent discussions around what actions could be enacted at the federal level. 

Some conservative groups and lawmakers have suggested a federal abortion ban if they were to regain the White House in 2024. 

According to his campaign site, Peters said he would “fight to protect life, not devalue it” and argued “late term abortion and infanticide (killing of the baby after birth) is abhorrent.”

Late-term abortions” are typically performed between 21 and 24 weeks of pregnancy because of medical conditions that make the fetus unviable and put the pregnant woman’s life at risk. They make up less than 2% of all abortions, according to 2015 data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But the concept has been distorted by conservatives and repeated by Trump to imply the procedure takes following a full-term pregnancy.

Black argues for stripping federal funding from Planned Parenthood, which provides a wide-range reproductive health care services and is only reimbursed for non-abortion-related services.

Peters also boasts an 11-point plan on immigration that includes finishing building the wall, eliminating chain migration for non-immediate family members, getting rid of the visa lottery system, ending visa overstays, and enacting “merit-based immigration reform to expedite the naturalization process.”

Black’s campaign site also calls for stronger borders, adding that “our immigration laws must be enforced as they are written, sanctuary cities must be banned, and the border wall must be completed so we can bring order to our immigration system and secure our communities from drugs and violence.”

Primary Election Day is Tuesday, June 14.

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Michael Lyle
Michael Lyle

Michael Lyle (MJ to some) has been a journalist in Las Vegas for eight years.  He started his career at View Neighborhood News, the community edition of the Las Vegas Review-Journal. During his seven years with the R-J, he won several first place awards from the Nevada Press Association and was named its 2011 Journalist of Merit. He left the paper in 2017 and spent a year as a freelance journalist accumulating bylines anywhere from The Washington Post to Desert Companion. While he covers a range of topics from homelessness to the criminal justice system, he gravitates toward stories about race relations and LGBTQ issues. Born and mostly raised in Las Vegas, Lyle graduated from UNLV with a degree in Journalism and Media Studies. He is currently working on his master's in Communications through an online program at Syracuse University. In his spare time, Lyle cooks through Ina Garten recipes in hopes of one day becoming the successor to the Barefoot Contessa throne. When he isn’t cooking (or eating), he also enjoys reading, running and re-watching episodes of “Parks and Recreation.” He is also in the process of learning kickboxing.

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