U.S. Senate hopeful Danny Tarkanian, above, speaks with Assemblyman John Ellison, second from right, and others during a campaign stop Sunday afternoon in Elko.
ERIK JORGENSEN Elko Daily Correspondent
ELKO — Danny Tarkanian visited Elko on Sunday attempting to make the greatest political turnaround since Abraham Lincoln. Bucking for Dean Heller’s U.S. Senate seat, Tarkanian described his plans to support President Trump’s “America First” policies.
“We’re going to make history,” Tarkanian told the intimate crowd at Ruby Radio headquarters. “No sitting senator has lost the primary election in Nevada history.”
Tarkanian listened to concerns ranging from the DACA program to lack of support for veterans. “You may not agree with every position I take, but they will be the positions I campaigned on.”
While the son of famous basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian has lost several close political races, he said, “I have never regretted not backing down. I’m somebody with strong convictions of political philosophy, strong America First convictions — even when the left-leaning media attacks. Somebody to go back [to Washington, DC] to ‘drain the swamp’ who is a fighter, who doesn’t give up and quit.”
During the 2016 election, Republicans like Gov. Brian Sandoval and Heller adopted “Never Trump” stances, resulting in a narrow statewide victory for Hillary Clinton.
“How many in the GOP felt Hillary would make a better President? We had people who wanted to protect their positions more than doing what’s best for the country,” Tarkanian said. “That’s why so many people in the country don’t like politicians.”
Tarkanian advocated congressional term limits, and said “The biggest problem in government is legal contributions. That’s ‘free speech,’ and some people do the right thing, but in totality, some are extremely influenced. And average people don’t have that voice.
“Big corporations hide money overseas and don’t pay anything. I’m a proponent of the Flat Tax, and would vote for that in a heartbeat.”
Purple Heart veteran Felix Ike described the under-representation for Nevada’s 27 Native Tribes.
“In the eight reservations in northeastern Nevada, there are still no grave markers for veterans. After a while, denied a few times, you say, ‘To heck with it,’ get a rock, paint it up, and call it good.”
Ike said that for veterans suffering post-traumatic stress disorder on reservations, “The only medication is drugs and alcohol.” He also pointed out the Veterans Health Administration still has no clinic in Elko.
“It’s disgraceful hearing stories like that,” Tarkanian said. “There’s money in other programs, but they don’t take care of veterans. They deserve the best funding of any segment of our country. … To bring public awareness, ask people to get their stories on film at VFWs. Without those stories, we can’t bring a big enough stink.”
The lifetime NRA member described himself as “a strong supporter of the Second Amendment. I always have been, and I’ll never back off.”
Tarkanian said he was happy Trump withdrew Obama’s executive order for the DACA Program.
“I wouldn’t vote for citizenship for those children,” he said. “It’s not fair to people doing it the right way, standing in line.”
“I won’t have the money Heller has,” Tarkanian said, describing his Ten for Tark sponsorship, for $10 a month. “With ten thousand Trump supporters, I’ll have enough to win this race.”