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Can Democrats Take Back Nevada's Legislature?

Ken Lund/Flickr

Democrats lost both the state Senate and Assembly in 2014, by the narrowest of margins. Now, according to Democratic leaders, they're poised to take it back.

Irene Bustamante Adams, the Assembly Democratic caucus leader, pointed out that they only need five votes to have a Democratic majority for the 2017 legislative session.

The Senate only needs a couple of votes to swing differently. First, they need to win the six races that have incumbent Democrats. Then they need to keep the late Debbie Smith's seat Democrat. Then they need to turn one of the three Republican seats that are up for grabs.

State Senate caucus leader Aaron Ford told KNPR's State of Nevada there are a number of districts they are hoping to recapture.

“There are a number of priorities this year in order to retake the senate," he said, "We have six incumbents who are up for re-election. We intend for all six of us to be re-elected”

Bustamante Adams said there are seats in the Assembly that would be taken by Democrats this year. She believes the performance of many Republican lawmakers in Carson City last year will help boost that number.

"I think if you were watching the legislative session this last cycle you would have noticed there were a lot of distractions" she said, "A lot of distractions by bringing up issues that were not focused on building Nevada but instead tearing it down."

Many people have pointed out the Democrats lost in 2014 because their voters did not come out in vast numbers in that mid-term election. Bustamante Adams said they have a plan to help prevent that from happening again.

"I think that having a nominee [for president] is going to make a difference," she said, "I know that we're not taking that for granted though. We need to make sure that we have the boots on the ground to make those connections."

Ford said he believes Democrats tend to get more enthusiastic as the election draws nearer. Plus, he believes the nomination of Donald Trump by the Republicans will be enough to bring out Democrats to vote against him.

"Every Republican on the ballot, every single one up and down, needs to either confirm or disavow whether they're going to support Donald Trump at the top of a ticket because that is an issue that is reverberating throughout our electorate," Ford said.

Next week, we talk to Republican leaders about their legislature outlook.

Want to know what legislatures represent your district? Check out these maps. You can also find a current list of state senators and state assemblyman.

Assemblywoman  Irene Bustamante Adams; State Sentor Aaron Ford

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(EDITOR'S NOTE: Carrie Kaufman no longer works for KNPR News. She left in April 2018)