Rep. Joe Heck Campaigns in Reno - KTVN Channel 2 - Reno Tahoe Sparks News, Weather, Video

Rep. Joe Heck Campaigns in Reno

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Congressman Joe Heck made a campaign stop in Reno, Tuesday, as part of his "Joe Know Jobs Tour".  The Republican is facing off against former Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto for the U.S. Senate seat that will be vacated by Sen. Harry Reid.

During Heck's tour of The Depot, in downtown Reno, he said he wanted to learn more about the challenges small businesses face, and how the federal government can either help or hurt them. The owners of the brewery and distillery invested $4 million on renovations and equipment.

"It's a great location," Heck, R-Nevada said. "Came in, talked to the owner, talked about the 55 people that they've put to on the payroll since they opened. That's new jobs in Reno."

Heck points to his history as a doctor, Army veteran and small business owner as reasons why he thinks he can help Nevada in Washington, D.C.

"I was a small business owner," Heck said. "I know what it takes to make a payroll and keep people hired during a recession and going without a paycheck while my employees got paid. We say I know what it's like to sign the front of a check, not just the back of a check."

Supporters of Cortez Masto, including former Nevada State Treasurer Kate Marshall, held a press conference, earlier in the day. They attacked Heck's record, including his stance on Social Security.

"Congressman Heck has come out, publicly, and said Social Security doesn't work, it's a pyramid scheme and it needs to be privatized," Marshall said.

Heck says he made those comments six years ago and does not want to privatize the program, anymore. He says the program is broken and will not be fully funded within 15-20 years, and that the federal government needs to fix it. He laid out one option that would increase the retirement age to 69 by increasing it one month per year for 24 years.

"Our goal is to make sure that we protect Social Security for current and near-retirees, while preserving it for future generations," Heck said.

Cortez Masto supporters point to her record for consumer protection, seniors, and the fight against drug abuse in Nevada, saying she will take her experiences with her to Washington, if elected.

"When you have a financial crisis like we have, which affects Nevada more than any other state, then you really need to talk to people, and Catherine's that kind of person," Marshall said.

Cortez Masto spent the weekend campaigning in Carson City, Lyon County and Douglas County. Heck plans to visit more businesses, hoping to take the input back to Washington to help the economy.

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