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Oceguera Latest Dem To Bid For Congressional Seat

John Oceguera
Julie Jacobson/Associated Press

John Oceguera at a debate in 2012. The long-time politician is the latest democrat to enter the race for Congressional District 4

John Oceguera is the latest democrat to announce he will run for Nevada's Congressional District 4.

Oceguera, a former Nevada assembly speaker, will vye for the primary seat against former assemblywoman Lucy Flores, current state senator Ruben Kihuen and philanthropist Susie Lee.

The former lawmaker told KNPR's State of Nevada that the three current candidates most likely agree on policy, but his service and leadership makes him stand out.

"My length of service. My depth of service to this state goes over a much greater period of time," Oceguera said.

The seat is currently held by freshman Republican Cresent Hardy, who won in an upset over incumbent Steven Horseford during the November elections. Hardy's seat is considered vulnerable after winning by such a small margin.

Oceguera explained that the first time he ran for office was because he believed he could do a better job than the incumbent. 

"I believe I can do a better job than Cresent Hardy," the candidate explained. "I think it will come down to values."

He said when it comes to women's pay and reproductive rights, immigration, social security and Medicare for instance he has different values than Hardy. 

He also disagrees strongly with Hardy when it comes to Yucca Mountain. Hardy has said he is open to being part of the discussion about opening a nuclear waste repository in Nevada. 

However, Oceguera said he would say "no way, no how" to moving the project forward. 

"As a former firefighter, I don't want nuclear waste coming through Las Vegas and being buried in our backyard," Oceguera said.

Oceguera termed out of the state legislator after serving from 2000 to 2012, and was also a former North Las Vegas fire fighter. This is his second time to run for congress.

The candidate believes he learned important lessons in that defeat but says Congressional District 4 is the right district for him.  

"I just think the service that I have given to the state and my familiarity with this district make it a much better fit for me," Oceguera said.

Oceguera pointed out that he lives in the district and is raising his kids in the district. He said he understands how diverse it is and believes he can represent them in Congress.

"We're not going to focus on one group individually. We're going to try to touch them all," Oceguera said.

John Oceguera, democratic congressional candidate, district 4

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Prior to taking on the role of Broadcast Operations Manager in January 2021, Rachel was the senior producer of KNPR's State of Nevada program for 6 years. She helped compile newscasts and provided coverage for and about the people of Southern Nevada, as well as major events such as the October 1 shooting on the Las Vegas strip, protests of racial injustice, elections and more. Rachel graduated with a bachelor's degree of journalism and mass communications from New Mexico State University.