By Ittai Sopher PZ ’19
Nevada Lee ’22 recruited four students from the 5Cs over the weekend to campaign in her home-state and namesake in order to aid her mother’s candidacy for the House of Representatives.
According to FiveThirtyEight.com’s most recent projections Nevada’s mom, Susie Lee, the Democratic candidate for Nevada’s third congressional district, has a two in three chance of winning her race, making the competition one of the most competitive House races in the upcoming midterm elections.
“If we’re actually thinking of strategic ways to flip the house,whether your motivation is because you are a Democrat or because you think that a restriction should be put on Trump, this is one of the districts that’s going to make that happen,” Nevada Lee said.
After studying projections like the one from FiveThirtyEight, Nevada Lee is confident that her mother’s House campaign will also influence the Senate competition in Nevada between Democrat Rep. Jacky Rosen and incumbent Republican Sen. Dean Heller, as well, considering Rosen currently represents the district Susie Lee is vying for.
A potential Democratic majority in Congress will have a large impact on the type of legislation that reaches President Trump’s desk. Gun safety is one of these issues, and in the wake of the shooting in Las Vegas last year, Susie Lee has been an outspoken advocate for national background check laws, bump stock restrictions, and barring domestic abusers from owning guns.
“I think that my mom running for Congress and the shooting that happened a year ago definitely shifted my perspective from being very interested in international news to more domestic,” Nevada Lee said, regarding her motivation to be involved in her mother’s political campaign among other politics-adjacent endeavors. “I don’t think I would know nearly as much about politics or care nearly as much about politics if I didn’t have a politician for a mom.”
Candidates like Lee and Rep. Rosen, while more moderate than many Claremont Colleges students on serious political issues, can have a lasting impact on systems of political power in this country. For instance, Rosen has expressed disapproval for Judge Brett Kavanaugh’s nomination to the supreme court based on Dr. Christine Ford’s allegations against him, while Sen. Heller voted to confirm Kavanaugh. A shift in political majority from Republican to Democrat can have lasting implications, clearly the Kavanaugh’s confirmation is a key example of where a few additional Democratic seats in the senate would have made a monumental difference.
“My mom is a lot more moderate than a lot of the students here, so I respect if students don’t want to come canvass; that’s fine, ” Nevada Lee said. “But California is pretty much already solidly blue, and we are only three and a half hours away from one of the top ten swing districts”
However, for many students at the Claremont Colleges, travelling that distance is difficult. So, Nevada Lee is getting creative in order to localize her mother’s campaign efforts.
“I plan on organizing a phone bank back in Claremont, and I know that would be a bigger hit.” Nevada Lee said. “It’s kind of hard to ask people ask people to come all the way up to Vegas for a weekend that doesn’t involve partying.”
Image Credit: Susie Lee for Congress