CHRISTINE DECORTE – ASSEMBLY DISTRICT 18
Assembly District 18 is located in Las Vegas
There are two Republican candidates filed for this position – Christine DeCorte and Matthew Sadler. Both responded to this interview request. The winner of the Primary will face a Democrat and Libertarian in the General Election. This seat is currently held by a Democrat.
1. Give a brief summation of your political and professional background.
I am a successful businesswoman, mother, wife and daughter. Married for almost three decades, my husband Ted and I have two children who were born and grew up right here in Las Vegas.
I have a long history of being involved in the Las Vegas community. Serving on the board for such local organizations as the Daughters of the British Empire, President of the National Association of Professional Saleswomen, and the Active Republican Women Club, as well as serving on my church board. I love my friends, philosophy, poetry and the daily discovery of my unique spiritual journey.
For more information, please visit my website: www.christinedecorte.com
2. Define your district – general geographic boundaries, demographic make-up and political balance.
Nevada Assembly District 18 is a unique demographic of many small gated communities, several apartment complexes, and even monthly/weekly short term dwellings, gerrymandered between Sunset to the South, Flamingo to the north, Sam Boyd Stadium to the East and Sandhill to the West. For a quick point of reference, the Galleria Mall is within District 18. I love our community; the residents are blue collar hard-working people.
3. Why are you running for this position? What makes you more qualified than your Republican opponent to serve in this position?
I am running because I know I can make a difference for the community. As a business owner who understands and has seen and felt the demise of small businesses right here in District 18. Our district has suffered the loss of businesses much greater proportionally than any other area in the valley. The area is full of empty storefronts and office buildings displaying graffiti that ultimately drives down property values. Crime is growing, creating an unsafe environment for families. On Boulder Highway, for instance, prevalent panhandling and prostitution are rampant, coupled with constant pedestrian fatalities of “J” Walkers. The city has put up billboards every few miles reminding us to watch out for pedestrians. If this were Las Vegas Blvd. they would have built some overpasses by now.
Driving to and from my home every day I am constantly reminded of the business closings and loss of employment that is creating extensive poverty. Lack of mental health care is filling every corner with folks who need help. I feel a deep sadness that in our district, human life is somehow not revered or valued as in more affluent parts of our city. The quality of life in District 18 is deteriorating for most and the despair I see on the faces of people in our community both saddens and emboldens me to say enough! These problems are fixable, and I intend to do just that for our residents.
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
What we see in Nevada politics is no different then what is happening all across our nation. People no longer have confidence that our government represents our interests. We feel detached from our elected officials. Establishment politicians, in both parties, who make one set of laws for themselves and their families and another set for our families. Healthcare is but one example. We are forced to purchase government-controlled health insurance while they have a different, more “elite” health plan for their family.
The divide is not only in the Republican Party; the Democrat Party is facing the same division. The divide is the government versus the people. We are witnessing political family dynasties and hand-picked anointed candidates at every level of government. The electorate is angry and fed up with an overbearing out of touch government.
The Republican Party pleaded for a majority in the US House of Representatives, and they would stop Obamacare, they didn’t stop it. Then they claimed if we had a majority in the US Senate they would stop Obamacare; we gave them the majority, and they have done nothing to repeal Obamacare. Right here in Nevada, we gave Republicans the majority in the house and senate for the first time in over 85 years, and we got Democrat policies on steroids.
I can remember thinking that the people who told us that both parties are in bed together were conspiracy theorists…now, not so much!
I am a Republican because I embrace our party platform of smaller government and lower taxes. As such, I feel betrayed by our Republican officials who squandered their majority position. When we are led to believe one thing, and the opposite is done we lose faith and rethink who we trust. This mistrust causes the divide our party faces. I think as a society; we can handle anything as long as it is the truth.
5. What are the three most important issues relating to your district and/or the state? How will you legislatively address them?
- Economy: The closing of businesses and lack opportunity creates a multitude of the problems facing District 18. Everyday more and more businesses become unprofitable and are forced to close their doors. Our state was once considered to have a pro- business atmosphere, no longer is that true. Over taxation/regulations are putting many out of business. The Commerce Tax will force even more companies out of business.
- Unemployment: Without business, there are no jobs. Losing employment and the ability to support yourself or family creates desperation and hopelessness. Our community becomes desolate, crime rises, and our residents suffer. People are trying to survive on part-time minimum wage jobs, and that’s not the American Dream. We must return Nevada to a pro-business state to create jobs and opportunity
- Education: Nevada continues to rank dead last in education outcomes among the states and our high school graduation rate remains among the worst in the nation. According to our state government officials, the poor results are the lack of funding. However, year after year we budget more money for education and increased dollars have not led to improved results. School Choice across the country has proven to bring success. In 2015, the “Educational Spending Accounts” (ESA) was passed into law. The legislation allows parents to choose the best education/school for their children and has the dollars follow the child. Currently, there are barriers for some to participate in the ESA such as homeschoolers, those already enrolled in private schools or those entering school for the first time in our state. I will work to erase The 100-day rule that mandates a child must enroll in public school for 100 days to use the ESA.
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: We have a lot of gun laws on the books right now and yet criminals can still get guns, and they do not follow the law. I oppose any further infringement on the rights of law-abiding citizens to protect themselves, their families, and property.
Question 2: As far is Marijuana is concerned, I have learned that it is much more widespread than I once thought. There are pros and cons and many different opinions on the issue. Legal or not legal, people will continue to smoke pot. Putting it to a vote will allow the people to decide if it should be a criminal offense or not.
7. What is your position in regards to increasing the minimum wage in Nevada?
Like a chess game, this one must be thought out five moves ahead as opposed to the immediate feel-good of everyone making a “livable wage.” Having made a living in finance, I know that a rising tide lifts ALL boats!! If minimum wage goes up so will the hamburger! It’s basic economics. Will the government then put more rules on the business owner that prevents them from increasing the cost of their goods to pay for the increased wages? Do we want the government regulating small business owners more than they currently are? Mandating wages will lead to more small businesses closing and more job loss. In the end, it will only cause more harm to the very people it is meant to help. Changing the definition of “livable wage” will not change one’s circumstance or their ability to get ahead.
Define your position on fracking and other means of oil exploration in Nevada. Do you support coal fired energy plants?
We need to be as energy independent as possible. Growing up as a young adult in Los Angeles I understand smog and our air quality. However, the EPA, like all bureaucracies has become detrimental to our economy. Preventing drilling, fracking or using coal to protect a particular species is overused and keeps us dependent on foreign governments.
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:
I would like to mention Common Core and the data mining of our children’s private information. Many states have already repealed the failed standards. Because we continue to rank last in education outcomes, I believe we should start looking at the methods that have proven success in other states.
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