When you run for office, you campaign anywhere and everywhere. The moment that stands out for Steven Horsford is when he visited a senior complex. “The concern among seniors is that Medicare will be turned into a voucher program or they will privatize Social Security. A woman came up and hugged me and said, ‘Don’t let them take that away. It’s all we have left.’”
Horsford says what stands out generally are “the troubles the people are going through as I’ve walked this district and talked to people face-to-face and one-on-one. People are hurting and need a representative who has been there. I know what it’s like to struggle and I can relate to the fact that people are making tough choices in their lives between paying the rent and paying the electric bill. I’ve been there. That has touched me more than anything.”
Elected to the state senate in 2004, Horsford became majority leader in 2009, and now in the political fight of his life in Congressional District 4. He’s seeing common themes in different places.
After running in a state senate district within southern Nevada’s urban core, Horsford says, “This is a much larger undertaking. This is a very large and diverse district, with seven counties, so we’ve been campaigning from Walker and Shoshone tribal lands to Ely to urban Las Vegas and everyplace in between, but the focus from the voters is relatively the same: creating jobs and growing the economy. That’s what they want their congressman to focus on in Washington, D.C.,” he said.
“I feel great about where we are with the campaign. The turnout so far with early voting has been very positive,” he says, which echoes statistics and polling that show Democrats voting in large numbers. “It’s great to see our message of fighting for the middle class and being a voice in Washington for those who need a champion is resonating.”
Whether you’re a voter who feels strongly one way or the other, or a journalist covering the campaign, you sometimes forget that the people running for office are human beings with feelings. Horsford has attacked and been attacked, and sees positives and negatives to what he has been doing.
“From a positive perspective, it’s just been the outpouring of support, the volunteers, the individuals who have approached me at grocery stores or when I’m dropping my kids off to say they admire that I’m running for office when there are so many challenges facing our country,” he says. “On the negative side it’s been the anonymous billionaires from outside the state who have poured in money trying to prop up my opponent and his failed record and trying to buy a seat in
Congress. It’s very disappointing—actually, it’s disgusting.”