Congresswoman Susie Lee won her re-election race by 3 percentage points in 2020. The good news is that 2021 redistricting in Nevada has helped Susie, making her district more Democratic.
The bad news is that none of the three U.S. House seats held by Democrats in Nevada are considered safe in 2022: “Republicans had won two of the three seats — those held by Horsford and Lee — over the last decade, and all three seats could conceivably flip to the GOP in a wave election.” (“Nevada lawmakers approve maps giving edge to Democrats”, The Hill, 11/17/2021).
In 1993 Susie moved to Nevada, where she and her husband have raised their two children. She became an education non-profit leader; one non-profit she led was Communities in Schools of Nevada, a dropout prevention program now serving over 70,000 students, and raising graduation rates to 94% in this at-risk population. She was also the founding director of a homeless crisis intervention center and a founding member of a women’s investment group supporting dozens of non-profits in Nevada. In 2018 Susie was elected to Congress.
Susie’s Republican opponent is April Becker, a Las Vegas real estate attorney who very narrowly lost a bid to unseat Nevada state Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannizzaro (Democrat) in 2020. The Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee (DCCC) writes: “After losing her lawsuit to overturn the results of her 2020 election loss, Becker claimed she would ‘never run for office again in a state [Nevada] that allows their elections to be rigged’ … She filed to run for Congress in Nevada’s 3rd district two months later … She went on a conspiracy theorist podcast known for pushing Trump’s Big Lie to complain that her 2020 election ‘win’ was ‘stolen’ – also stating she had reached out to Trump’s election lawyer, Sidney Powell, for legal support in her effort to overturn her election … Becker similarly refused to accept the results of the 2020 presidential election, despite security officials reporting it was the most secure election in American history.”
The Daily Beast reported that although Becker has criticized President Biden for “socialist spending,” referring to the $1.9 trillion, Democrat-backed American Rescue Plan, the gambling business Becker herself operated received over $600,000 in PPP loans in 2020 and 2021.
Staunchly anti-choice and supportive of overturning Roe, Becker says: “As a pro-life conservative and constitutionalist, I believe that states should decide abortion policy.” But she has accepted the endorsement of Susan B. Anthony Pro-Life America, a radical anti-choice group that seeks to end abortion across the U.S. The group applauded the drastic Texas abortion ban that allows people to collect bounties for reporting doctors or anyone else who helps women get abortions, and also the SCOTUS overturning of Roe v. Wade. The group is now focusing on overturning Roe in individual states, including Nevada which has its own law protecting a woman’s right to choose. Becker is also backed by the extremist anti-abortion group Nevada Right to Life, which wants to ban abortion without exceptions for rape or incest, and said that overturning Roe was “a necessary step to allow the process of ridding our nation of abortion.” Becker has a 92% rating by the NRA. She supports completing the wall along the southern border started by Trump.
While Susie’s priority issues have always included affordable health care, gun safety legislation, support for veterans and childhood education, she is now sharpening her focus on protecting a woman’s right to choose in light of the Supreme Court overturning Roe. In the week following the announcement, Susie launched an ad campaign: “We decided to go up early because I think it’s a defining issue in this election,” Susie said in an interview with Politico. “Nevada is a state that protects a woman’s right to choose, but that can be preempted by a federal law … We already see that Republicans are poised to put a nationwide abortion ban on the docket should they get the majority … Voters need to understand just how important this race is to access to abortion for women across this country.”
Susie is also a strong advocate for gun safety. Her district was deeply affected by the largest mass shooting in modern American history, the October 2017 Harvest Music Festival shooting in Las Vegas. In 2020 Susie received the endorsement of Giffords, the gun violence prevention organization, co-founded by former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords, who was shot in the head in 2011 while speaking with constituents in Tucson. When announcing that endorsement Gabby Giffords said: “Strong women get things done, and Susie Lee was essential to the successful effort to get gun safety legislation through Congress. She has made clear that where others might waver, she will push ahead. She did not back down in the face of a gun lobby that tried to use its power and influence to block progress. Congresswoman Lee’s arrival in Washington signaled the NRA’s ironclad grip on the House of Representatives was over. Because of Representative Lee, Congress took the historic step of passing H.R. 8, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act. Progress in 2020 means reelecting Susie Lee so she can continue being a champion for a safer America. We’re proud to endorse Congresswoman Susie Lee as she fights to free our country from its crisis of gun violence.”
Susie serves on the Education and Labor Committee, and the Committee on Veterans’ Affairs. She is a member of the bipartisan Problem Solvers Caucus. She has worked on bills to lower prescription drug costs, and bipartisan actions such as an amendment to bring more doctors to communities in her district, and legislation to expand benefits to Nevada’s veterans. She introduced a bill to give non-profit childcare providers the same access to Small Business Administration loans as other non-profits. She has a strong record on women’s health and the environment, with a 100% rating by Planned Parenthood and a 96% lifetime rating by the League of Conservation Voters. When the Las Vegas Sun newspaper endorsed Susie for re-election in 2020, it wrote: “In her two years in Washington, Lee has shown herself to be an antidote to extremist Republicans and their toxic politics. They try to gut public schools and pull up the ladder to all but the elite; Lee fights for a high-quality education for all Americans. They fear-monger and vilify groups of Americans; Lee spent her career providing hope for people from all walks of life. They work to divide Americans; Lee joined the Problem Solvers Caucus…We urge voters to elect her to another term, and keep the 3rd district in the hands of someone who will fight for all Nevadans.”
Susie faces a tough re-election campaign in 2022, and the ad campaign launched in the wake of the SCOTUS Roe decision was expensive. Donations now can help her win by contrasting Susie with her opponent. The more votes for Susie in Nevada’s 3rd congressional district, the more likely U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto will be re-elected – a crucial race for Democrats to keep their majority in the Sena