Rick Shepherd is running for Congress in Nevada’s 2nd Congressional District in 2018. Like so many of the Democrats that have entered the ring this election cycle, he is a new face to politics.
Shepherd owns his own business, Synux Technologies, an IT outsource for small businesses and home users. With staff running his business, Rick has been able to dedicate much of his time to running his campaign, going to events and meetings all around the district.
He campaigned for the same seat in 2016. “I started in January, with no name recognition…to challenge a candidate [Chip Evans] with DNC establishment backing…that’s what I almost beat.” Shepherd ended up trailing by less than 10% in the election. He also did extensive on-the-ground canvassing for the Sanders Campaign. Before all this, he was socially active, partaking in protests and marches such as Occupy Wall Street in 2011.
Rick hopes to transform Nevada, and clearly lays out his stances on nearly 50 issues on his campaign website. “The needs across the district are wildly different and I have to be responsive to all of them…Climate change is my #1 issue, but I also appreciate that a lot of issues are interdependent and can be addressed in parallel.”
Rural Nevada has struggled as jobs have left and new investments in the community are rare, with shuttered mines leaching pollutants into the environment, and land for cattle ranching shrinking with climate change. High-speed internet, Shepherd says, has bypassed some towns along major fiber-optic cables only for the reason that internet service providers could not make a profit there.
A lack of affordable and accessible healthcare is an issue plaguing the whole state and is the reason he supports a single-payer health care system. Shepherd thinks that the schools need proper funding for education materials and teacher pay. He also believes that Nevada needs to reject Right-to-work legislation that has broken labor unions and trade deals such as NAFTA that have shipped American jobs overseas. These are only a few of his plans to reinvigorate the state.
With one election already under his belt, his former primary opponent Chip Evans deciding not to run, and changes in Democratic Party leadership, Shepherd believes that “…the Democratic establishment won’t be an impediment to me this go around, it might be a help.”
Shepherd “is counting on” Republicans voting Democrat in the general election next fall, and believes many of them will. Republican incumbent Mark Amodei was the Nevada chairman of Trump’s presidential campaign. As chairman of the campaign, Amodei signed onto everything Trump stands for and could feel the repercussions of Trump’s 39% approval rating in his own race.