By Ray Hagar, Nevada Newsmakers
Real estate lawyer April Becker, the Republican nominee for Nevada’s 3rd U.S. House District seat, pushed back Tuesday on television ads from incumbent Democrat Susie Lee that imply Becker wants to make all abortions illegal, with no exceptions.
“The things that are being said in these ads are absolutely untrue,” Becker said on Nevada Newsmakers.
Becker, a first-time GOP congressional nominee, said Lee’s ads imply, “that I am going to pass a federal law banning abortion.
“I never said that,” Becker told host Sam Shad. “I agree with Roe v. Wade being overturned. I’ve always felt that it was an issue for the states and in the state of Nevada, these laws have been on the books since 1990.”
Becker stressed that Nevada’s law that allows for abortions cannot be overturned by elected officials. Nevada’s abortion statute can only be changed by a vote of the people, she said.
“So I laugh,” she said. “It is not up to the politicians in Nevada on what the abortion laws will be. They are on the books and the only way they can be changed is by the citizens.
“This is the will of the people of Nevada,” she said. “And here in Nevada, citizens have ruled that you can have an abortion, unlimited, up to six months, so there is no way to change that, except through referendum on the ballot.”
Yet if elected, Becker said she would vote against a federal abortion law on the basis that it would be unconstitutional because of the Supreme Court’s recent ruling striking down the 1973 Roe v. Wade decision.
“I don’t understand how that could occur because the Supreme Court has now ruled that there is no constitutional right to abortion,” Becker said. “And the only thing that Congress can rule on and pass laws for are things that are allowed in our Constitution. So I don’t understand how they think that could happen because, in my opinion, that would be unconstitutional.
“It is my opinion, as a member of Congress, that one of the most important things that we are supposed to do is uphold the Constitution,” Becker said. “And when you have a very recent Supreme Court ruling that says that abortion is to be left up to the state, I don’t see how you can, in good faith, pass a law in Congress that takes that away from the states when the Supreme Court just ruled that it to be left to the state.”
One of Lee’s ads state that Becker is endorsed by Nevada Right to Life, which wants to make all abortions illegal, according to the ad. Becker said she is not aligned with that stance.
Becker said laws barring abortion should include exceptions for “rape, the health of the mother, you know, it is all outlined on my website. It is not a secret.”
Becker’s campaign website details her abortion stance as, “As a mother of three and now a new grandmother, I know that life is precious and am pro-life, with exceptions for rape, incest, and the life of the mother.”
She said a fine line in laws governing political advertisements allow Lee’s campaign to tell lies about her.
“It is something probably that people don’t realize: That if it was a super PAC that were doing these advertisements, they would be taken off the air because they are lies,” Becker said. “But something that I wasn’t aware of, politicians and candidates apparently can lie in their ads and super PACs can’t. That’s the only reason these ads are still running.
“They are untrue,” Becker added. “I’ve never said any of the things that are being said and, you know, I just wish people would do their research and make sure they don’t listen to everything they hear on social media and on TV.”
Becker, however, said her main message to voters is not about abortion. It is about jobs, inflation and the soaring costs that go along with it.
“Right now, it is still the economy,” Becker said about her messaging. “People are struggling. They are worried about what’s going to be in the future, if it going to continue to get worse. That’s the most important thing I hear from people when I am out in the district.”
The Biden Administration has noted prices for for some commodities are receding. However, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told Bloomberg News that “unacceptably high” prices are likely to stick with consumers through 2022 and that she expects the US economy to slow down.
“Hey, I feel it too,” Becker said about high prices. “Anybody who puts gas in their car feels the pain. They (Biden Administration) are bragging that it is down a little bit but they are not putting it in perspective that it is still four times more (expensive) than it was a year ago.
“Gas is outrageous,” Becker said. “Grocery stores, I was there yesterday buying groceries and there was a whole section that was empty. These things are scary when you have children that you are trying to take care of … that is the No. 1 thing I am hearing.”
She sees a recession in the future.
“I’m an attorney, so my area isn’t the economy, but when you hear the professionals that actually work in economics, they predicted this,” Becker said. “They have been predicting it and it is going to continue to get worse. So it is on everybody’s mind.”
Becker said she has not read the lawsuit filed by Republican gubernatorial candidate Joey Gilbert, who was defeated by a wide margin by Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo in the GOP primary election. Gilbert, a Reno lawyer, contends Nevada’s Republican gubernatorial primary was rigged, basing his lengthy court filing on mathematics, algorithms and graphs.
However, Becker said her GOP primary was legitimate.
“I would hope so,” Becker said. “I had four guys run against me. I won with 65 percent of the vote so I’m pretty happy about that.”
She feels confident in the election system as she moves toward the November general election. In 2020, however, Becker filed a suit seeking a do-over election after losing to State Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro by 631 votes. The suit was dismissed in District Court.
“I’ve been assured that the voters’ rolls have been cleaned up,” she said. “And I don’t think in 2020 we were ready for a universal mail-in ballot election. But I’ve been assured that things have been cleaned up.
“It is not easy to run for office,” Becker said. “It is expensive and it is time consuming. And if I didn’t feel comfortable with the process, I would not be doing it.”
Becker has been endorsed by U.S. House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, former UN ambassador Nikki Haley and current Nevada GOP U.S. Senate nominee Adam Laxalt.
“I would take an endorsement from President Trump, from anyone that’s in leadership,” she said. “There’s nothing better than having that acknowledgment that you are doing a good job and that people believe that you are the right person for what you are running for.”
She also gets many questions about what committee assignments she’d seek, if elected.
“People ask me everyday and I just have got to get through the election before I start worrying about that,” she said. “Don’t put the cart before the horse.”
She continued: “I’m sure I will be considered for judicial because I am an attorney. I want to be on the committees that serve this community (3rd U.S. House District). I’m open for whatever will help the people of this community.”