Corporate money versus individual contributions – the race for Assembly 39

by Brian Bahouth

Jim Wheeler is the seated Assemblyman for Nevada District 39. The League of Women Voters of Northern Nevada invited the Republican to participate in the voters forum held on October 16, but Mr. Wheeler did not appear. Democrat Patricia Ackerman spoke and answered audience questions - image - Kristin Simons, Nevada Capital News.
Jim Wheeler is the seated Assemblyman for Nevada District 39. The League of Women Voters of Northern Nevada invited the Republican to participate in the voters forum held on October 16, but Mr. Wheeler did not appear, though Mr. Wheeler has since said he was not invited. Democrat Patricia Ackerman spoke and answered audience questions at the event - image - Kristin Simons, Nevada Capital News.

Carson City – The Nevada Secretary of State just released the October 16 campaign finance filings for the 2018 election cycle, and incumbent Republican Assemblyman for District 39 Jim Wheeler is awash in corporate money, though Democratic challenger Patricia Ackerman has earned four times more than Wheeler in contributions from individuals. 

Based on data from the Nevada Secretary of State's office - image - Nevada Capital News.
Based on data from the Nevada Secretary of State’s office – image – Nevada Capital News.

Republican Jim Wheeler

Republican Jim Wheeler was first elected in 2012 and has served in the Assembly for three regular and five special sessions.  Wheeler’s list of corporate donors is topped by a $10,000 donation from Nevada Restaurant Services or Dotty’s casinos. The Las Vegas Police Protection Association also contributed $10,000.  The Orleans Hotel in Las Vegas gave $5,000, as did the Venetian and the Las Vegas Sands to round out the five largest contributors to the race for a rural northern Nevada seat. Conservative political activist and owner of the Las Vegas Sands Sheldon Adelson has contributed a similar amount of money to several Republican candidates in rural Nevada.  Wheeler’s average campaign donation: $1,749.98.  For a complete list of contributors to the Jim Wheeler campaign, see 2018 finance filings, 1, 2, 3.

Jim Wheeler has not responded to two emails and a phone call requesting an interview.

You can learn more about Assemblyman Wheeler here.

Democrat Patricia Ackerman

Ackerman is like several women new to the political process running for state house seats in Nevada this election cycle, and judging by the lengthy list of individual contributors she has cultivated, Ackerman has been a dogged and successful hand-to-hand political fundraiser.  Candidate Ackerman told me at the recent League of Women Voters (LWV) forum held on October 16 that she is knocking on 500 doors a week throughout the district. 

Her corporate/union donations are easily summarized, as not a single for-profit corporation contributed to her campaign.  Patricia Ackerman is the campaign’s top contributor at $5,000.  The International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers contributed $4,000.  The Nevada State Education Association gave $2,000, and the Lyon County Democratic Party gave $1,000.  Ackerman’s average campaign donation: $171.56.  For a complete list of contributors to the Patricia Ackerman campaign, see 2018 finance filings, 1, 2, 3.  

We have spoken to Patricia Ackerman on two occasions.  You can hear those interviews and learn more about her here.

Nevada Assembly District 39 - image - State of Nevada.
Nevada Assembly District 39 – image – State of Nevada.