LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — In a highly contentious race for Congressional District 3 encompassing the southern tip of Nevada, Republican businessman and former pro-wrestler Dan "Big Dan" Rodimer has challenged incumbent Democrat Susie Lee for her seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Both sides have been slinging mud for months in television advertisements.
Rodimer has raised questions about Lee's financial dealings in the wake of the coronavirus.
"She sold off all of her stock before we even shut down flights from China," he said.
Rodimer has accused Lee of taking information from a congressional briefing on the coronavirus in late January and using that to trade beneficial stocks before the market was made aware of the virus's danger.
An AP report, however, found the stocks were part of a trust handled by a third-party investor and Lee's office denied she had any influence over the decision.
Lee has aggressively attacked Rodimer on his criminal record, and a 2006 domestic violence accusation from his then-girlfriend in Florida.
"The voters of Congressional District 3 need to understand the well documented long history of violence and fraud of Dan Rodimer," Lee said.
Public records show Rodimer's rap sheet is made-up almost exclusively of traffic violations.
Rodimer did admit that he was charged with first-degree battery in a 2010 incident in Pinellas County Florida.
"The one time I got into a physical altercation, it was between myself and another adult male," Rodimer said of the incident. "He pushed me, I pushed him back. I was never convicted."
Lee has used audio of a 2006 call to police in Florida from Rodimer's now-wife, Sarah Rodimer, in which she calls to report a domestic incident with the now congressional candidate.
Rodimer's campaign has responded with an ad of his own in which Sarah denies that any physical altercation took place.
"Suzie Lee knows that there was no physical altercation," Rodimer said. "Nothing ever came of it. My wife and I got into a verbal dispute, and that was it."
On policy, Rodimer is markedly more conservative than his Democratic opponent in a district President Donald Trump carried in 2016.
He said his main focus will be to improve Nevada's education system, cut regulations on business, lower taxes, and bring manufacturing jobs into the state.
"After COVID, we need to bring back businesses," Rodimer said.
Lee said her priority post-election would be overcoming the coronavirus pandemic and promoting the return of business in Nevada.
She said she would like to build on her work helping develop federal aid programs like the CARES Act and the HEROES Act still waiting for action in the Senate.
"My vision is to get us back to where we were and even better," Lee said.
Post-COVID, Lee said she would focus on improving Nevada's education system and diversifying the state's entertainment heavy economy.