Updated May 16, 2022 - 10:53 am
Three Republicans touting their conservative credentials and public service experience are seeking the GOP nomination in Nevada’s 4th Congressional District.
Assemblywoman Annie Black, 41, of Mesquite, Air Force veteran Sam Peters, 47, and Chance Bonaventura, 25, a senior Las Vegas City Council aide, will square off in the June 14 primary.
The winner will challenge incumbent U.S. Rep. Steven Horsford, who faces no Democratic primary opposition in his re-election bid for a fourth term in the district that includes Mesquite, North Las Vegas, Pahrump and central Nevada counties.
Black represents District 19 in the state Assembly. She made news last year when she was admonished for failing to wear a face mask in the legislative building during the 2021 session.
“A stand I took that I think people can associate with because a lot of people lost their jobs and were kicked out of the military,” Black said.
Black, a Nevada native, said she is running for Congress because the state has become over-regulated and changes have made it difficult for people to build businesses and become successful.
“I don’t think Nevada necessarily is that place anymore,” she said in a telephone interview.
Black said she decided to run for Congress due to economic changes, with inflation, the price of gas and other costs that have increased.
“What a horrible disaster the Democrats have created,” she said.
Peters and Bonaventura also cite Biden administration policies and Democratic leadership in the U.S. House of Representatives as motivation to run for federal office.
It is also a year that many analysts foresee favoring Republican efforts to win back the House majority.
Peters, with 20 years of military service and now a Las Vegas businessman, and Bonaventura, a chief of staff for a councilwoman at Las Vegas City Hall, both said they were fed up with Democratic control in Washington.
“Enough is enough,” said Peters, who cited illegal immigration and border security as a reason he is seeking the seat.
If elected, Peters said he would vote to strengthen security at the U.S.-Mexico border by continuing to build the “border wall,” a series of structures that the Trump administration funded to stop illegal immigration and smuggling.
Peters served in Iraq and Afghanistan. He said in a telephone interview that the federal government, primarily under Democrats, has been lax in removing people who overstayed their visas and providing assets needed to increase border enforcement.
“They are ignoring the safety and security of our country,” said Peters, who finished second in the 2020 Republican primary in the 4th District.
Visa overstays account for roughly half of the undocumented immigrants in the United States, or between 4.5 million and 6 million of the estimated 10.7 million people in the country illegally, according to the Pew Hispanic Center.
Peters blamed Biden administration policies for encouraging caravans of Central Americans to come to the border with asylum claims, although similar surges occurred during previous administrations, Republican and Democratic.
Increased enforcement of current immigration laws and continued construction of a border wall are needed, said Peters.
Black also called for increased border security and immigration enforcement, as did Bonaventura.
Born and raised in Las Vegas, Bonaventura said he decided to run for Congress rather than the Legislature or City Hall due to federal government mask requirements and mandates that he said harmed local businesses.
“I got fed up with it,” Bonaventura told the Review-Journal.
Bonaventura also said federal policies on housing and public land use also prompted him to seek the congressional seat, where he could vote on issues that impact rural areas and urban communities, both struggling with government control of wide swaths of the state.
With more than 81 percent of land in Nevada owned by the federal government, Las Vegas and rural communities are limited in how they can grow, Bonaventura said.
“Right now we are stifled,” said Bonaventura, who said his top goal would be to write a law that would allow the federal government to transfer just 1 percent of land back to the state to distribute to counties and cities to accommodate economic and housing needs.
“I think I have a unique perspective that I could offer,” Bonaventura said.
Black, meanwhile, is a former member of the Mesquite City Council. She was elected to the state Assembly in 2020. Her term ends this year.
“I feel like I’m the best person to take on Horsford in the general, and that’s what I hope to accomplish,” she said.
In fundraising, Peters reported $636,739 raised through March 31, with $203,531 in cash on hand, according to Federal Election Commission records.
Black received $327,264 in contributions and $292,548 in cash, while Bonaventura raised $6,547 and had $441 at the end of the filing period, FEC reports show.