Interview – Erv Nelson, Republican Candidate Assembly District 5


Nelson, Erv

Erv Nelson

(vs Jerri Strasser)

Open seat formerly held by Marilyn Dondero-Loop



Please post a short personal resume:

I moved to Las Vegas as a three-year old, and attended public schools for my education.  I enjoyed a wonderful childhood in Las Vegas, and graduated from Clark High School.  After obtaining a law degree, I returned to Las Vegas where I served as a law clerk for a federal judge, Roger Foley.  In 1987, I began my law practice in Las Vegas and moved into the Lakes area, where my wife and I have raised our children. 

1.   You are running for an open Assembly District 5 seat. Define your strengths and why you would better serve Nevada than your opponent.

 We have been in the same neighborhood for over 27 years, and I feel that one of my strengths is my understanding of our community and particularly my Assembly district.  As a lawyer, I understand the importance of good laws.  As a father and grandfather of students in the Clark County School District, I understand the importance of improving out education system.  As a small businessman, I understand the importance of a strong economy and a stable tax structure.

2.   Explain how you differ from your opponent in regards to:

I have read my opponent’s website and everything I can find on the internet, but there is very little.  I have not met her or seen any of her campaign literature.  She has not put up any signs that I can see.   I will ask some Democrat friends of mine to provide her literature to me.  She is a retired pediatric intensive care nurse who is or was a steward in her union.  She has lobbied on nursing issues in Carson City.

a.   Nevada health care issuesI feel that we need to entice more physicians, particularly specialists, to stay in Nevada if they are already here, and to move here from other states.  To do so, we need to consider more tort reform to protect them.  In the area of mental health, we need to focus on more and better outpatient programs so that the patients can get counseling and medications without the expense of more hospital beds.

b.   The Education Tax InitiativeI am against the Education Tax Initiative, or the so called Margin Tax, because it would tax some companies that are not even profitable and destroy jobs.

c.   Nevada mining & gaming tax issues At this point, the mining companies are not doing as well as they were in the recent past when the prices for precious ores were higher.  Accordingly, I do not feel that now is the time to change their tax structure by amending the Constitution.  Many of the rural counties are dependent on mining, and I would not want to jeopardize their economies.  Gaming and tourism are still the lifeblood in the larger cities, and placing oppressive taxes on those industries would hurt the economy in the long run.

d.   Immigration issuesThe federal government should enforce the laws that are in effect.  The states should not be forced to do so.  Selective enforcement, or the lack of enforcement, of laws breeds contempt for all laws.  Under the preemption doctrine, the State of Nevada cannot operate in areas where federal law exists, including immigration.  I do not favor laws similar to ones recently passed in other states like Arizona, because they could harm tourism in Nevada.  If do feel, however, that illegal immigrants should not be entitled to state benefits.

e.   Nevada’s minimum wageThe minimum wage should not be raised since doing so would only make it harder for teenagers and minimally skilled workers to get jobs. The market should prevail, and government should not  dictate wages or benefits.

3.   As a new State Assemblyman, what will be your greatest challenges?

If elected, I would in all probability be a member of the minority party.  In order to get anything accomplished, I would need to reach out to Democrats.  The challenge would be remaining faithful to my conservative principles while working with Democrats to achieve my legislative goals.  Other challenges would be providing a stable tax environment, strengthening parental empowerment over education through charter programs and home schooling, encouraging new businesses to move to Nevada and regaining some control of our public lands, health care and education from the federal government.

4.   It is a long campaign season. Many accusations are made by one candidate against another. Are there any assertions/accusations made by your opponent, or others, that you consider inaccurate or unfair? Elaborate.

I am not aware of any assertions or accusations. 

5.   Please use this space to elaborate on any issues not previously covered:

It is critical that the Republicans maintain at least their current number of 15 of the 42 seats in the Assembly so as to be able to stop any tax increases, which would require a 2/3 vote.  I feel that we can maintain 16 or more seats in this elections, and add more seats in upcoming elections.  I will fight to foster conservative Republican principles in the Legislature and help to get more Republicans elected.

Editor’s Note:

All Republican candidates with a viable opponent and contact information were asked to participate in an online interview – Congressional, Statewide & Legislative General Election races. 

The interview responses will be posted in full, unedited as submitted on NewsDesk by Nancy Dallas (, the NvFRW website ( and the State Republican Party (; and, when relevant, the Carson City Central Committee website (, the CCRW website ( and all other GOP associated websites that wish to do so.   Hopefully, the responses will be emailed to the membership of each organization, with reposting of any interview by interested parties strongly encouraged. 

The purpose of these interviews is to allow our Republican candidates the opportunity to state their positions in their own words, describe how they differ from their opponent’s positions and why they would better serve Nevada than their opponent. The Primaries are over.  Our ultimate goal must now be to elect or re-elect Republicans. 

Not all candidates chose to respond.  Following the General election a participation summary will be posted.

Nancy Dallas, Editor/Publisher NewsDesk (EST. January 2003)


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