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Assemblyman’s Comment Triggers Firestorm

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File photo of voting booths. (Photo by Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images)

File photo of voting booths. (Photo by Jessica Kourkounis/Getty Images)

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CARSON CITY, Nev. (AP) — Top Nevada Republicans are distancing themselves from the Assembly minority leader over comments made to a conservative radio talk show host critics say show the GOP wants to suppress the minority vote.

Reno Republican Assemblyman Pat Hickey touched off a political firestorm when he said a lot of minorities and younger people won’t turn out in next year’s non-presidential election, adding, “It is a great year for Republicans.”

Democrats pounced, claiming Republicans are out to suppress the vote.

On Thursday, Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval, U.S. Sen. Dean Heller and state Senate Minority Leader Michael Roberson condemned Hickey’s remarks.

Hickey says he was only stating that non-presidential years tend to help GOP turnout numbers. He says his words, though poorly chosen, were taken out of context.

(© Copyright 2013 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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