Welcome to my diary series titled Majority Savers! I will run a new article every Tuesday, Friday, and Saturday. The goal of this series is to highlight races that may make or break our current slender majorities in Congress. That means I will start more with incumbent Senators and House members until some primary elections are settled. If I have time, I will expand it to governors as well in critical swing states.
If you want to find my previous entries in this series, I recommend following me or searching for Majority Savers as a tag!
I have six ground rules behind the philosophy of this series. I’d ask you all to respect them as best you can, because these are taking me quite a long time to write. Here are my ground rules.
When Sen. Jacky Rosen won her Senate seat back in 2018, this incumbent won a narrow race to replace her in Nevada. 2020 was another dogfight in a district Biden narrowly won, and 2022 will likely turn out that way as well. Rep. Susie Lee holds Nevada’s 3rd district, and she is definitely a Majority Saver worth our support!
This section is not meant to be a complete biography of Rep. Susie Lee. Details of her past are lacking, but her own biography can be found here.
- She, like many other people found in the Las Vegas area, is a transplant. She is originally from Canton, Ohio. Unlike many other people, Lee has stayed in the Las Vegas area since the 1990s.
- She helped start the Inner-City Games organization, now known as the After School All-Stars, which helps disadvantaged children in after school programs.
- She was the President of the Communities In Schools of Nevada, which looked to tackle the seriously horrific dropout rate in Nevada’s schools.
Rep. Susie Lee has a DW Nominate score of -0.282, which indicates a moderate voting record. She is more liberal than 58% of the entire membership of the House, but she is also more conservative than 80% of the Democratic caucus found in the House.
Once again, I have to point out that she represents a swing seat, NOT A SAFE DISTRICT. Lee is a “MORE Democrat”, and we aren’t likely to get a “better Democrat” from a district like this. It is imperative that we support all the members of our caucus, otherwise you can say hello to Speaker McCarthy, or worse, Speaker Jim Jordan.
It was tough finding information on how she stands on the issues. Her background gives away an easy one, but the rest I have to make inferences on based upon her campaign website (which doesn’t have an issues page) and which committees she is on.
Education: It is clear from her background that she cares deeply about the issue of education. Nevada’s schools are typically amongst the worst in the nation due to the transience of the population. She is working to improve the schools through more Title I funding and by other means.
Health Care: It mentions that she is working to make health care more affordable, but her website doesn’t mention any specific ways she supports doing so. She likely will protect the ACA and want to lower the cost of prescription drugs, but I cannot be sure of either of those positions. I do know that Lee is 100% pro-choice, which is important as abortion rights are evaporating as fast as Lake Mead.
Veterans: Rep. Lee is on the Veteran’s Affairs Committee in Congress, which means that she obviously cares about veterans and will promote solutions that help veterans. Again, I could not find much information on particular programs or votes that show her support beyond her platitudes.
Recent Elections —
2020 President: Joe Biden (D) 52.4%, TFG (R-inc) 45.7%
2020 House: Susie Lee (D-inc) 48.8%, Dan Rodimer (R) 45.8%
2022 Election Rating: Tossup
2022 PVI: D+2
This district has a very short history, having only been in existence since it was created in the 2000 Census. It was originally meant to be a Republican leaning swing seat, and that is how it acted for most of the first decade, with GW Bush narrowly winning the seat in 2004. The 2006 blue wave showed that this district was vulnerable to flipping, and 2008 proved too much for the GOP incumbent Rep. Jon Porter, as Rep. Dina Titus washed him away as Obama won 55-43 in the high water mark for Democratic presidential candidates.
2010 proved too much for Titus, and Rep. Joe Heck became a “moderate” Republican that held the seat even though Obama narrowly won it in 2012. Heck went for the Senate seat in 2016, and now Sen. Jacky Rosen won the match to replace him even though TFG carried the district at the same time. Rosen leveled up to the Senate two years late, and Rep. Susie Lee faced back to back close contests in a seat Biden narrowly won.
Now the district is a Democratic leaning swing seat, as the neighboring 1st district was specifically weakened in order to shore up Lee. The district, like the rest of the Las Vegas area, relies on swingy voters and the Harry Reid machine to turn out enough left leaning voters to create a firewall to protect incumbents. This is the weakest district, thus Lee is the most vulnerable.
Political Tour of the District
The 3rd district this decade covers the suburbs of Spring Valley and Enterprise, as well as parts of Paradise. It also covers the western part of the city of Las Vegas known as Summerlin. Finally, the district scoops up rural portions south of the Las Vegas including the gambling haven of Laughlin on the Colorado River.
Here’s where this race will be won in the 3rd district.
Paradise and Spring Valley: This is where many of the workers for the casinos live. These are the most blue portions of the district, and Susie Lee will have to hope the Reid machine turns out every Democratic voter in these areas to offset other problem locations.
Enterprise: This suburb is further out from the city core, and thus it is less Democratic than the other two listed above and much more swingy. Lee will need to make sure that this area turns out voters in her favor, and that the suburb doesn’t flip to her GOP opponent.
Here’s where we need to keep the margins down, or we lose.
Summerlin: While not the most GOP leaning portion of Las Vegas, this area has many red precincts and is the likely source of much of the Republican vote. There are blue precincts in these neighborhoods as well, and it is important that Lee keeps the margin in this area respectable.
Rural Nevada: While there aren’t many votes outside the urban core of Las Vegas in this district, the ones that do exist are Republican in nature. It is important for Lee to have city voters turnout at a higher rate to offset places like Laughlin which are lopsidedly against her.
Activism — Help How You Can!
In Quarter 1, Rep. Susie Lee raised $573k, which frankly is nowhere near enough in a day and age where our vulnerable incumbents have the ability to raise twice that amount. She lucked out in that her likely GOP opponent raised a LOT less money than she did. However, the dark money flood will come and devour Lee if she cannot raise more cash.
Rep. Lee definitely has a 5-1 cash on hand advantage right now, with Lee stockpiling $2.13 MILLION. Her likeliest GOP opponent has only $450k in her campaign account right now, and that is with a primary election to settle first. Rep. Susie Lee is a rare incumbent which I think needs a kick in the donation butt. Go ahead and chip in if you have the means to do so.
DONATE TO REP. SUSIE LEE HERE
If you live in the Las Vegas metro area, you have quite a few campaigns to choose from to help. https://susieleeforcongress.com/ is the best way to sign up to help Rep. Susie Lee, which will also help Sen. Cortez Masto and Gov. Sisolak as well. It’s a three for one deal!
If you don’t want to donate or volunteer, try following her on social media and amplifying her message. On Twitter, she has 9256 followers — let’s see if we cannot increase that amount!
If you prefer Facebook, follow her at susieleenv. If you do Instagram, it’s also susieleenv.
Thank you for reading about Rep. Susie Lee of Nevada’s 3rd district. Starting next week, I will have the new and improved Majority Savers articles written after your feedback on May 31. I wanted some time to digest the feedback and make changes to the articles going forward. Majority Savers would not be a success without you!