Last Friday night the League of Women Voters of Northern Nevada hosted a debate as the fourth in a series of 2020 election forums. The hour-long event featured candidates for Nevada’s U.S. 2nd Congressional District race: incumbent and five-term Congress member Mark Amodei (R) of Carson City and challenger Patricia Ackerman (D) of Douglas County in their only debate of this election cycle.
The event was live-streamed by National Grassroots Broadcasting Network with the Carson Appeal for voters to watch. In-person attendance was limited to those connected to the campaigns, affiliate organizations, media and League of Women Voter staff to follow social distancing guidelines to prevent the spread of COVID-19. The auditorium would normally be jam-packed at an event such as this, making the sparse crowd a stark reminder of the moment in time in which this election is taking place.
The two candidates pleaded their case on a number of topics, including healthcare, trade policy, the federal COVID-19 response, wildfires and wildland fire policy, and even legalization of marijuana. Ackerman and Amodei were each successful in landing several hard hits on one another on issues near and dear to them.
Congressman Mark Amodei speaks during a debate against his District 2 challenge Patricia Ackerman. Image: Don Dike-Anukam
Ackerman came out strong at the start by attacking Amodei for supporting President Trump’s trade wars, and blaming both Amodei and the president for the economic pain it has caused for rural farmers. She further attacked Amodei for supporting the president’s tax reform bill in 2018, which she said contributed to greater economic inequity and favored the high-income earners at the expense of lower-income earners.
Ackerman also attacked Amodei for failing to be present in Washington D.C. for an August vote on a funding bill for the U.S.