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Right-wing Las Vegas city councilwoman Michele Fiore jumped into the race for Nevada governor on Tuesday, with a video announcement featuring her shooting at beer bottles that say “CRT” and “vaccine mandates.”
Fiore, a Republican and former Nevada state assemblywoman, said during her announcement video that she “spent my whole life fighting the establishment,” and referenced a Politico feature from 2016 that described her as a “lady Trump.”
She also said she was the “first Republican female majority leader” in the history of the state Assembly, which is technically true—but she was almost immediately removed from that post by then-Speaker John Hambrick.
Fiore is perhaps best known for her hard-line gun rights advocacy. In December 2015, Fiore posted a family Christmas photo to Facebook showing her entire family holding guns—including her 5-year-old grandson. Asked by Fox News about the photo, Fiore said the gun was not loaded and responded: “That 5-year-old grandson of mine has total trigger control.”
The following year, Fiore went to Oregon to support rancher Ammon Bundy during his occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, and was credited with helping to mediate an end to the standoff between the FBI and a handful of remaining holdouts.
“We need outsiders, fighters—not the same old boring moderate, compromised, blue-blazer politicians,” Fiore says in the video, before knocking over a television showing a Mitt Romney speech. She then proceeds to describe her “three-shot plan,” which includes banning vaccine mandates, banning “critical race theory,” and stopping voter fraud. She then shoots beer bottles labeled with all three of these things.
“The Joe Biden administration is coming after me,” Fiore says, without elaborating further. “I’m Michele Fiore, and I’m ready for the fight.”
Fiore is just the latest Republican to declare her interest in running for governor against Democrat Steve Sisolak, who was elected in 2018. Former U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, who lost his seat in 2018, is the most prominent candidate so far, but the race also includes Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo and boxer-turned-lawyer Joey Gilbert.
After Heller lost his seat in 2018, he was blamed the following year by Trump, who said his “base didn’t believe [Heller]” was sufficiently supportive of him. But in an interview last month with the Las Vegas Review-Journal, Heller repeatedly refused to say Joe Biden was the legitimate president and would only say that he believes “we have a problem with our elections.”
Fiore’s candidacy will likely shift the crowded Republican primary even further right, which Nevada Democrats immediately capitalized on Tuesday.
“Michele Fiore’s entrance will only make this primary more expensive, bruising, and as far-right as it can get,” Mallory Payne, a spokesperson for Nevada Democratic Victory—a group set up by top Nevada Democrats including Sisolak, after democratic socialists won the state party’s top leadership posts—told the Associated Press Tuesday.
“Whoever makes it out alive will spend the general election trying to redefine themselves and refill their bank account.”