Joe Lombardo, in GOP forum, derides Nevada public health option

Joe Lombardo speaks in front of the Nevada Capital Building after officially filing for the GOP governor's nomination the Nevada Capital building on March 14.

LAS VEGAS — The consensus Republican front-runner for Nevada governor drew attention and applause from a GOP luncheon audience Tuesday when he used an expletive to deride Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak’s decision to enact a state-managed public health insurance option.

Answering a question about homelessness, Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo expressed frustration about people who don’t or won’t accept help from public services. He said he wanted to stop the Clark County jail from being the “No. 1 facility” for mental health services in Nevada.

“A very small percentage are homeless due to circumstances out of their control,” said Lombardo, who served two terms as nonpartisan elected head of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department. “You have to hold them accountable and, unfortunately, society is turning a blind eye to that issue.”

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