AL KRAMER – ASSEMBLY DISTRICT 40
Assembly District 40 includes Carson City, Washoe County south of Highway 341 (Geiger Grade), east of Highway 395 and a portion of south Reno east of Western Skies Drive, Rio Wrangler Parkway and Mira Loma Road
There are four filed Republican candidates in this race. All four responded to this interview request – Sam England, Chris Forbush, Al Kramer and Incumbent PK ONeill. The winner of the Primary will face an Independent American Party candidate in the General Election.
1. Give a brief summation of your political and professional background.
I have been a registered Republican since I was old enough to vote and I have never missed an opportunity to vote. My first experience with politics was volunteering with the Goldwater campaign while I was still in high school. I graduated from BYU, and went into the U.S. Army. From there I worked 15 years in the private sector in a heavy manufacturing industry. I saw many of the harmful effects of bureaucratic regulations, which eventually caused the factory I worked at to be closed and dismantled. During these years I was awarded a masters degree from Claremont Graduate School in Pomona, California. In 1990, I moved my family back to Carson City and found work with the State of Nevada. In 1993, I was hired by Bob Seale to be the Deputy Treasurer for Operations. This was my first really close exposure to politics. I then entered the realm of local politics by running and winning an election for Carson City Treasurer. I was re-elected five times, serving in that capacity from January 1995, until January 2015, when the new State Treasurer Dan Schwartz, recruited me to be the Deputy for Investments. I retired from this position on February 1, 2016.
2. Define your district – general geographic boundaries, demographic make-up and political balance.
Assembly District 40 consists of Carson City, that part of Washoe County south of Highway 341 and east of Highway 395 and that part of south Reno east of Western Skies Drive, Rio Wrangler Parkway and Mira Loma Road. The some 65,000 residents of AD 40 tend to be a bit older than the rest of the state. The population is over 86% white. Blacks, Asians and Native Americans each make up about 2% of the population. Also, Hispanic/Latinos make up almost 20% of the district’s residents. This district also has a significant veteran population (11%). The district has a higher proportion of manufacturing jobs than the state. Because Carson City is the State Capital, government employment in the district is proportionally almost double (25%) the state as a whole. The percent of residents in owner occupied housing is greater in the district (63%) than for the State (57%). Republican voter registrations lead Democrats registrations 45% to 31% in the district. As for the minority parties, Independent American party counts 5.6%, Libertarian party has .9% and 16.7% declare themselves Nonpartisan
3. Why are you running for this position? What makes you more qualified than your Republican opponent to serve in this position?
- I feel that at this time in my life, I can use the information I have gathered through experience to improve the lives of the people of AD 40. I would like to open up the legislative process a bit more to the citizens.
- Having been the elected treasurer for Carson City for over 20 years, I have strong name identification. My 25+ years of living in this district and being active, politically, charitably, and as a citizen, gaining the trust of the voters and being known as a person of his word, sets me apart from those also running. I have the experience and knowledge to find waste in the budget and suggest cuts. I know the legislative process and will be ready to go to work for you on day one.
4. There is a well noted and ongoing split among many in the Nevada Republican Party. Define your philosophy in regards to this ‘moderate conservative’ versus ‘tea party’ divisiveness.
Through my experience as Carson City’s treasurer and working for the State Treasurer, I am an avowed fiscal conservative, which, I presume, puts me in the ‘tea party’ side of things. On social issues I am more of a moderate.
5. What are the three most important issues relating to your district and/or the state? How will you legislatively address them?
The three issues are jobs, growth and taxes – and they are related. In order for people to be able to work themselves out of poverty, jobs are needed. The economy needs to grow to supply these jobs. We need employers to move to Nevada. Our quality of life attracts them but we need to be vigilant to ensure that we don’t discourage them with high levels of regulations and taxes. I would seek to get on committees that deal with economic development and government affairs, which generates so many laws requiring regulations. In the past we have had predictable taxes on new businesses. We need to get back to that so that incoming employers have an idea of what to expect in the future. If the repeal of the Commerce Tax is unsuccessful, I will introduce a bill to repeal it so as to make the future tax structure more stable.
6. What is your position in regards to the current initiatives? (Question 1 addresses firearms and would require that an unlicensed person who wishes to sell or transfer a firearm to another person conduct the transfer through a licensed gun dealer who runs a background check. Question 2 addresses marijuana. If approved by voters, the measure would legalize the drug for adults and put the tax revenue from the sale of the drug toward education funding.)
Question 1: I believe there are enough gun laws on the books and would not support question 1.
Question 2: We’ve not yet seen the effects of Medical Marijuana and I feel that we should know far more before addressing the issue of recreational marijuana. If it passes, I will work to ensure there are proper safeguards in place to protect our children. I will support requests from law enforcement. Any needed increase in funding for this purpose will have to be paid for by marijuana users. As a Republican, I am generally for less regulation and more individual freedoms. Some say that marijuana is a gateway drug to much more harmful drugs. It might be wise to observe what happens in Colorado and Washington to see if this proves to be the case. I am opposed to question 2 at this time.
7. What is your position in regards to increasing the minimum wage in Nevada?
I am opposed to increasing the minimum wage paid in Nevada.
8. Define your position on fracking and other means of oil exploration in Nevada. Do you support coal fired energy plants?
Nevada has implemented high standards for the techniques used to recover the oil which has been discovered. With these standards, I support fracking and welcome the high paying jobs that oil production will bring. I support the existing coal powered electrical plants and the jobs they provide.
9. If there is any issue that you are concerned about that has not been addressed in this interview, this is your opportunity to address it:
In walking neighborhoods of AD 40 two issues come up repeatedly. First – so many were unhappy with the caucus that was held and wish that instead a presidential primary had been held. Second – many want local input on our children’s education and not a ‘one size fits all’ program. We need to address the flaws in Common Core.
EDITOR: This is one in a series of online interviews with Republican candidates. All Republican candidates with Primary races were contacted – US Senate, US Congress, State Senate, State Assembly, Carson City Mayor and Lyon County Commissioner. The responses are posted as the candidates presented them to me – no editing. These interviews will be posted in no particular order and, obviously, all races are not of interest in everyone’s particular district; however, NewsDesk readership (www.ndbynd.com) is spread throughout the state so all responses will be posted. You are welcome to repost any of the interviews as long as proper credit is given to NewsDesk.
Primary election day is Tuesday, June 14, 2016. If the candidates in a particular Primary all belong to the same party, the winner will be determined in the Primary and go to the General Election ballot unopposed.
Dates to remember:
- May 14 – Last day to register to vote by mail
- May 24 – Last day to register to vote in the Primary
- May 28-June 19 – Early voting
- June 14 – Primary Election