|Nevada State Assembly, District 39|
|February 4, 2013 - present|
|November 5, 2014|
|Years in position||1|
|Elections and appointments|
|Last election||November 6, 2012|
|First elected||November 6, 2012|
|Next general||November 4, 2014|
|Term limits||6 terms (12 years)|
|Service/branch||U.S. Air Force|
|Years of service||1975 - 1977|
|Place of birth||Los Angeles, California|
|Profession||Businessman/former law enforcement|
A national media firestorm erupted around Wheeler in October 2013 when remarks he made in August 2013 to the Storey County Republican Party came to light. In the videotape of those remarks, Wheeler relates a story about a time he was asked how far he would go to represent the wishes of his constituents. As Wheeler tells the story, he was asked if he would go so far as to support slavery if his constituents wanted to bring back slavery. Wheeler indicated that his response in that conversation was, "If that’s what they wanted, I’d have to hold my nose, I’d have to bite my tongue and they’d probably have to hold a gun to my head, but yeah … if that’s what the constituency wants that elected me, that’s what they elected me for".
Wheeler was the Chief Executive Officer of Powerdyne Automotive Products for fifteen years. Later, he served as the general manager of Powerdyne Quarters Horses. He was in the United States Air Force in 1975-1977.
At the beginning of the 2013 legislative session, Wheeler served on the following committees:
|Nevada Committee Assignments, 2013|
|• Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Mining|
Wheeler calls himself "a true believer in fiscal responsibility and minimal government," having signed a "Taxpayer Protection Pledge." He voices support for public education with control at the local level, and a "free market approach" to advancing renewable energy.
- See also: Nevada State Assembly elections, 2012
Wheeler ran in the 2012 election for Nevada State Assembly, District 39. Wheeler defeated incumbent Kelly Kite and Gary Roger Schmidt in the June 12 primary election and defeated David Schumann (Independent American) in the general election which took place on November 6, 2012.
|Nevada State Assembly, District 39, General Election, 2012|
|Independent American||David Schumann||25.8%||7,842|
|Nevada State Assembly, District 39 Republican Primary, 2012|
|Kelly Kite Incumbent||35%||2,526|
|Gary Roger Schmidt||27.3%||1,971|
Comprehensive donor information for Wheeler is available dating back to 2012. Based on available campaign finance records, Wheeler raised a total of $50,093 during that time period. This information was last updated on June 26, 2013.
|Jim Wheeler's Campaign Contribution History|
|2012||Nevada State Assembly, District 39||$50,093|
|Grand Total Raised||$50,093|
2012Wheeler won election to the Nevada State Assembly in 2012. During that election cycle, Wheeler raised a total of $50,093.
|Nevada State Assembly 2012 election - Campaign Contributions|
|Top contributors to Jim Wheeler's campaign in 2012|
|Nevada Association of Realtors||$3,000|
|Park Cattle Ranch||$2,500|
|South Point Hotel & Casino||$2,500|
|Total Raised in 2012||$50,093|
|Source:Follow the Money|
- Gov. Brian Sandoval: "Assemblyman Wheeler’s comments are deeply offensive and have no place in our society. He should retract his remarks and apologize."
- U.S. Senator Dean Heller: Wheeler's remarks are "insensitive and wrong".
- The Democratic caucus of the Nevada State Assembly: The remarks are "reprehensible and disgusting".
- Nevada State Senate Minority Leader Michael Roberson: The comments are "outrageous, they are embarrassing and they are just plain sad. It’s time for Jim Wheeler to find a new line of work".
- Michele Fiore, a conservative Republican member of the Nevada State Assembly: "As someone who believes wholeheartedly in listening to our constituents, I’m confident that they would agree with me that there is no place in our society for the comments made by Assemblyman Wheeler who doesn’t even understand that the United States is a republic because we protect the voice of the minority".
On Tuesday, October 28, Wheeler published a statement about his remarks on his website. The statement says:
"The media is having a good time with a clearly facetious statement I made in a town hall meeting earlier this year. They’re attempting to spin an extreme example I used about supporting my constituents to accuse me of being racist. Anybody that knows me knows that’s absurd, and anyone that views the comments in context understands that the whole point of the example is that racism of any kind is something that I find completely unacceptable.
"During the meeting, I was asked how I would vote if I believed one way on an issue,and my constituents believed the opposite. I stated the truth that I believe, which is that in a Representative Republic I’m hired by the people to represent their views. I used an over the top example of something that I absolutely do not agree with, and even mentioned that to get me to vote for such a thing, my constituents would literally have to hold a gun to my head. In reality, that isn’t the case at all. If my constituents wanted to do something as outlandish as bring back an abhorrent system, then I simply couldn’t represent them anymore. They would remove me from office, or I’d have to resign.
"In the bill from the 2013 session that we were discussing, I’d heard from an unusually large number of constituents, and the comments were 3-1 in favor of the bill. That’s a very clear mandate, and it was enough for me to set my opinion aside and represent the voters of District 39. Despite the media spin that claims I don’t think for myself, I give careful consideration to the votes I cast, and I find that 99%of the time my constituents agree with me. That makes sense – they elected me because they know that my beliefs align with theirs.
"Unlike some legislators, I don’t believe that my Assembly seat is a platform for my personal issues. I occupy the people’s seat: it’s my job to represent them faithfully, as I have done. As long as my constituents agree with my positions, I’m confident that they’ll keep hiring me to do the job. And if they ever decided that they wanted me to advocate for an unacceptable issue, they’d have to find somebody else to bring that to the Assembly.
"If my comments were taken with offense by anyone, I sincerely apologize. I intended the statement as an extreme example of something unacceptable, and hope that’s how it’s taken."
This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "Jim + Wheeler + Nevada + Assembly"
- All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.
- Nevada assemblyman who made slavery remark ordered to explain financials - Las Vegas Review-Journal
- Ray Hagar: Assemblyman Wheeler gets death threats over 'slavery' comments - Reno Gazette-Journal
- Secretary of state gives Assemblyman Wheeler a deadline to respond to ... - Reno Gazette Journal (blog)
- Smart ALEC? - Reno News & Review
- Assemblyman who made slavery remark ordered to explain financials - Las Vegas Review-Journal
- Student Government must focus on research - The Alestle
- No 'defenders of liberty'? The hell you say! - Las Vegas Review-Journal (blog)
- Nev. Assemblywoman Michele Fiore Says She Carries Gun In Gun-Free Zones - Opposing Views
- Commentary: Governor scores low on conservative scorecard - Elko Daily Free Press
- Hickey's plea to Washoe GOP: Stop 'circular firing squad' mentality that is ... - Reno Gazette Journal (blog)
- Reno Gazette Journal, "Update: Nev. Assemblyman Jim Wheeler responds to firestorm over slavery remark", October 28, 2013
- Wheeler4Nevada, "The Issues," retrieved October 23, 2012.
- Nevada Secretary of State - 2012 Primary Candidates
- Clark County - 2012 Primary Candidates
- Washoe County - 2012 Primary candidates
- Nevada Secretary of State, Official 2012 Primary Results
- Follow the Money, "Wheeler, Jim." Retrieved June 26, 2013.
- Atlantic Wire, "Nevada Republican Says He's Not a Bigot Just Because He'd Vote to Allow Slavery", October 29, 2013
Kelly Kite (R)
|Nevada State Assembly District 39
| Succeeded by|