“Serving the people of Nevada these past three years has been an incredible experience,” Copening stated. “My decision not to run comes with mixed emotions. Helping people is what drives me and I will miss serving in the legislature. That said, when I am no longer in office, I will continue to stay involved as a volunteer advocate for consumers and homeowners.”
Senator Copening was elected in 2008 and was known for working in a bi-partisan fashion bringing all sides to the table in order to reach compromises. Prior to redistricting this seat was evenly split and considered a "swing district". With the drawing of new maps for 2012, the seat has now become a strongly democratic district where Democrats enjoy a significant registration advantage.
While the new SD 6 can still be considered "swingy", it does lean a little more Democratic after redistricting. And considering Copening's controversy over HOA legislation she introduced last session, this may actually help Democrats hold onto the State Senate. In a bad year for Democrats, Benny Yerushalmi came within 5% of stopping Elizabeth Halseth's ascent in SD 9. Now, Democrats hope he can save the fragile Senate majority.
“As a father, a lifelong Nevadan, and a local small business owner, I believe in a better Nevada with a more diverse economy and better schools. Changes need to be made to create jobs, to help our economy thrive, and to ensure that taxpayer money is spent more wisely. But the most important change of all is that our leaders, regardless of background or party, must put aside our differences and work together to address the very real struggles facing Nevada's working families,” stated Yerushalmi.
What may help here is that Yerushalmi does have a good background as a small business guy, and that he's already had experience gaining bipartisan support. Mark Hutchison, on the other hand, is nothing more than a radical right bomb thrower who was Jim Gibbons' hand picked man to fight health care reform in court. Now, Hutchison is the Republicans' hand picked man to run for Senate in this district.
Make no mistake, this will be an epic battle... But this is nonetheless a battle Democrats can definitely win.