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Holder in Nevada endorses Sisolak, calls NYT op-ed alarming

September 7, 2018

LAS VEGAS (AP) — An anonymous New York Times opinion piece criticizing President Donald Trump is “alarming” but “consistent with what we have seen in previous books, in previous stories about the dysfunction of this administration,” former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder said in Las Vegas on Thursday.

Holder, who served under President Barack Obama from 2009 to 2015, made the comments while appearing at labor union offices with Nevada gubernatorial candidate Steve Sisolak to endorse the Democrat and discuss criminal justice reform.

Sisolak, the chairman of the Clark County Commission, is facing Republican state Attorney General Adam Laxalt in the race to replace term-limited Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval.

Sisolak said Thursday that if elected governor, he wants to address Nevada’s cash bail system, high rates of incarcerated women and erasing misdemeanor convictions for marijuana that occurred before the state legalized recreational use of the drug in 2017.

His close race with Laxalt is one targeted by Holder’s organization that’s working to get Democrats elected in 2018 to offices that will play a key role in redrawing congressional districts after the 2020 census.

Holder has been making visits to states as part of his work with the National Democratic Redistricting Committee, backed by Obama, but he’s also been appearing in states such as New Hampshire and Ohio, which play a key role in thinning the field of presidential contenders.

Holder has said he’s considering a 2020 run for the presidency.

He didn’t address his future in elected office Thursday, instead focusing on Sisolak and how he can be part of an effort in the states to serve as a check on the president.

Holder said Sisolak’s emphasis on health care and job opportunities, along with his experience serving on the Clark County Commission, the powerful governing body that oversees the Las Vegas Strip and surrounding areas, and his time as a regent with the body overseeing the state’s public higher education system, makes him the best choice for governor.

The former attorney general’s group has also spent thousands of dollars helping Nevada Democrats beat back a Republican-led effort to recall to state legislators. The controversial effort jeopardized Democratic control of the state Senate and the effort’s backers did not make any allegations of misconduct to justify the recalls.

A judge ruled earlier this year that the recalls had failed to gather enough signatures but the effort’s backers have appealed to the state Supreme Court.

“That was just a bold, bald political move to try to seize power in a way that’s inconsistent with the way we say our nation should govern,” Holder said.

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