As Steve Sisolak and Chris Giunchigliani race leftward in hopes of attracting liberal primary voters to support their gubernatorial campaigns in Nevada, the Democrat primary race continues to grow more bitter and divisive, threatening the party’s chances of winning in November. Giunchigliani is taking aim at Sisolak’s liberal bona fides as the two move further out of touch with Nevada voters.
In the wake of a new report by the Reno Gazette-Journal revealing that Sisolak had reversed his positions on same-sex marriage, marijuana, and the death penalty over the past 20 years, Giunchigliani attacked Sisolak, accusing him of “political posturing,” saying that he is “desperate to convince Democratic primary voters he shares their values.” Giunchigliani’s heightened rhetoric against Sisolak comes after warnings by Nevada political scientists that “divisive primaries rarely help the winner going forward.”
The Reno Gazette-Journal reports:
“Steve Sisolak has revised his opinion on guns, marijuana, same-sex marriage and the death penalty over the past 20 years, forcing the governor’s office hopeful to defend against accusations that he’s flip-flopped on some of the issues most important to Democratic primary voters.
A 1996 ‘political courage test’ published by VoteSmart.org shows Sisolak, then running for a Henderson-area state Senate seat, did not support the decriminalization of medical marijuana, the legalization of same-sex marriages and the expansion of gun control legislation.
The longtime Clark County Commissioner, who faces a tough primary race against fellow Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani, has since come out vocally in favor, or at least unopposed, to each of those policies.
Last week, Giunchigliani — running to the left of a better-funded, more moderate Sisolak — seized on the survey as a chance to tout her own liberal bonafides, offering an appeal aimed squarely at the progressive voters expected to decide the pair’s upcoming closed primary race…
The VoteSmart questionnaire shows Sisolak did not support same sex marriages in Nevada. He was undecided on the question of whether government funding should be provided to medical facilities that provide abortions.
Today, he says he couldn’t be happier that marriage equality is the law of the land and that reproductive health decisions should be left between a woman and her doctor.
Sisolak also indicated on the survey that he was not opposed to the death penalty — a measure he later told the RGJ was appropriate only in ‘extreme cases.’
He did not directly answer specific questions about his past positions on that and several other topics…
Giunchigliani’s campaign suspects such remarks amount to little more than political posturing.
‘After kicking off his campaign calling himself a “moderate” and “middle of the road’” and after months and months of talking about his polls and focus groups, Steve Sisolak is now desperate to convince Democratic primary voters he shares their values,’ campaign manager Hyers wrote in an email…”