Lee puts ‘socialism’ and ‘cancellation of culture’ at the forefront of GOP gubernatorial candidacy
“Socialism is cancer,” cancer survivor John Lee says at the start of his new campaign video. The camera pans across vast desert dunes and zooms in on Lee, hunched over a mountain bike, pumping his legs.
In the video released Monday morning, Lee confirms his candidacy for the Republican nomination for governor in 2022. He cites an insurgent radical left as the main reason for his entry. His website asks for donations to “fight against Steve Sisolak’s radical agenda” and to “participate in the fight against the culture of cancellation”.
Lee was a registered Democrat until last month, when he announced his official move to the Republican Party on Fox and friends, pointing to the democratic socialist resume from the Nevada Democratic Party.
Lee touts his experience as mayor of Las Vegas, but his campaign documents make no mention of his twelve years as a Democrat in state government. Lee served in the Nevada Assembly of 1997 to 2001, and the State Senate of 2004 to 2012. He lost his campaign for re-election to the State Senate to the more progressive Pat Spearman.
In 2013, he became mayor of North Las Vegas, and is now in his second term. When Lee took office, the city was reeling from the recession, facing budget shortfalls, bad credit and lack of development. Lee is credited with helping ease his recovery and, in part through layoffs, reduce the budget deficit. He also gave priority to researching new business and industry projects, focusing in particular on development in Apex Industrial Park.
His tenure as mayor was fraught with controversy. Most notably, Lee was investigation by the FBI for possession of child pornography in 2015. Case closed for lack of evidence, but not everyone was convinced: Former North Las Vegas Police Chief Joseph Chronister alleged that Lee had received special treatment because of his status.
In June, Lee could face a tough Republican primary. Other Republicans considering a gubernatorial bid include Representative Mark Amodei, Sheriff Joe Lombardo and former Lieutenant Governor Mark Hutchison.
The official deposit deadline for the 2022 election, it will be next March.