Gun-Toting, Bundy-Defending Nevada GOPer Loses Congressional Race

Colorful Nevada Assemblywoman Michele Fiore (R), who is known for her fervent advocacy for gun rights and distrust of federal government agencies, lost her bid to join the U.S. House of Representatives on Tuesday.

Fiore came in a distant third place with 18 percent of the vote in the state’s 3rd Congressional district.

The outspoken Nevada Republican drew national media attention earlier this year for her role in brokering the standoff between federal agents and self-styled militia members occupying a wildlife refuge in remote northeastern Oregon. Fiore said at the time that one of the occupiers who was killed in a shootout with federal law enforcement, LaVoy Finicum, was “murdered with his hands up,” even though authorities said that Finicum was shot when he reached inside his jacket toward his weapon.

Both during the Malheur Wildlife Refuge occupation and during the armed standoff against the Bureau of Land Management at Cliven Bundy’s ranch in 2014, Fiore emerged as one of the most prominent defenders of the Bundy family, whom she called “patriots.”

Fiore also made headlines for her startling comments on gun rights.

In December she offered to fly to Europe to shoot Syrian refugees in the head, and later that month sent out a Christmas card in which every member of her family, including her 5-year-old grandson, was armed with a gun.

Her suggestion that citizens can take aim at police as long as law enforcement draw their weapons first also drew censure from Nevada’s largest police union.

In a letter to Fiore, Nevada Association of Public Safety Officers Executive Director Rick McCann called her remarks “utterly irresponsible, an embarrassment to your District and our State, and they continue to demonstrate why you are unqualified to hold the position of United States Congresswoman.”

Republican Danny Tarkanian won the race for the House seat with 34 percent of the vote, while Nevada state Senate Majority Leader Michael Roberson came in second with 24 percent.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Allegra Kirkland is a New York-based reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked on The Nation’s web team and as the associate managing editor for AlterNet. Follow her on Twitter @allegrakirkland.

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