Legislative candidates attend ‘Senior Candidate Forum’

Published: Sep. 20, 2022 at 4:52 PM PDT
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RENO, Nev. (KOLO) - This was the first of what is hoped to be many Washoe County Senior Coalition “Senior Candidate Forums.” The place the Northwest Library in Reno.

On hand, Carmen Ortiz and Angie Taylor vying for Assembly District 27, and Sam Kumar hoping to represent Assembly District 25.

“I want to leave this place a little better than when I found it,” Kumar told the group in his opening statement.

After candidates introduced themselves, the questions came. They ranged from “Will you make yourself accessible?” to “What can you do about an increase rental costs?” to “If elected what committees would they like to serve on?”

“My preferences would be health and human services. The second one is probably going to be Ways and Means,” said Kumar. He admitted though as a freshman lawmaker he probably wouldn’t get to choose. “Ways and Means,” said Ortiz. “Because fiduciary, and financial responsibility is so important.” Taylor answered, “I would start with this question. Not what do I want? Where can I be the most help?”

This multi-part question came toward the end.

“Have you been to Carson City? Have you been to a committee meeting? Have you ever testified? Have you actually walked in the building? Asked one man seated in the back of the room

“I got to sit in the house on the floor to see what was going on.” Ortiz responded. “I’m going to say yes to all of them,” said Taylor. “I am going to disappoint you,” said Kumar. “No.”

Seniors will soon be replaced by Millennials as the largest voting bloc. But they do have a leg up on younger generations in terms of showing up to vote.

And while their questions and relevance may seem out of touch by those younger than themselves the seniors realize all of us, if we are lucky, will live to retire and attend forums like this and ask the tough questions.

“A lot of seniors don’t have a computer,” says Michelle Barry who attended the forum. “So, they need an in-person or a hard copy of something. So, I think public places like this library is great,” says Barry

“I think we really need to educate our politicians,” said Larry Weiss another attendee who believes the forums are just as much for the candidates as the voter.

The next Senior Candidate Forum at the Reno Northwest Library will be Friday September 30th at 10:30. It will feature candidates for Reno Mayor, Reno City Council, and Justice of the Peace.

The next forum on the schedule is at the Sparks Library on 12th street Friday September 23 at 10:30. Candidates aspiring to represent the Sparks area in the legislature will be on hand to answer questions.