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Elizabeth Helgelien campaign commercial for CD-3 (Photo: Screenshot)

GOP Primary Battle Intensifies in Nevada Congressional Race

A police report filed against CD-3 candidate Drew Johnson alleges he committed a Class D Felony

By Megan Barth, March 27, 2024 3:12 pm

This article has been edited to include additional comments from Drew Johnson

Last week, The Globe published an op-ed entitled, “The Worst Congressional Candidate Ever?” that went viral.

Now, the battle between two GOP primary candidates for Nevada’s third congressional district took a new turn when a police report was filed against Elizabeth Helgelien’s challenger Drew Johnson claiming Johnson lied about his residency on his official candidacy form filed with the Nevada Secretary of State, at public events, and in his writings. Helgelien’s campaign provided the report to The Globe which alleges that Johnson lied about the length of his residency in Nevada and his address–a Class D Felony, specifically perjury, under NRS 199.120.

In the complaint, the report includes a link to an opinion article Johnson wrote in 2019 indicating he lived in Montana and notes that in March of 2024 during a campaign forum, Johnson claimed that he had lived Nevada for 12 years.

“While lying on its own is not a crime and certainly something many are used to hearing from politicians, lying under oath or under the penalty of perjury is a crime, and anyone who commits a crime should be held accountable for their own actions,” the complaint states.

GOP candidate for CD-3 Elizabeth Helgelien (Photo: @ElizabethForNV)

Helgelien’s campaign strategist Woodrow Johnston told The Globe, “We live in a Constitutional Republic where individuals are held responsible for their own actions. When Drew Johnson is not busy bashing cops or taking advantage of grieving mothers, he has a problem with the truth; and this time it appears to be at a criminal level.”

Drew Johnson fired back, telling The Globe:

This is a pathetic attempt by a failing candidate polling in a distant third place to turn attention away from her scandals by inventing bogus stories about the frontrunner.

The voters in this district are smart enough to see through it. She refuses to debate, she refuses to attend events where voters can ask her questions, she refuses to speak in public without reading from notes, she refuses to discuss the crisis at the border, our suffocating inflation, violent crime, prescription drug prices, and other issues the people in our district are concerned about.

Republican leaders in Washington don’t consider Helgelien a serious candidate, Republican candidates don’t consider her a serious candidate, and Republican primary voters in CD3 don’t consider her a serious candidate. Recent elections prove it. The last time she ran for office, she got 1,365 votes. The last time I ran for office, I earned 53,423 votes. 

As the frontrunner, I’m focused on flipping this crucial seat and helping the people of this district, not engaging in mudslinging with a messy, scandal-plagued candidate with no chance of winning.

Numerous accusations have been launched against Johnson including his critical statements of President Donald Trump dating back to 2016.

Drew Johnson’s tweets recovered from 2016 (Photo: Source)

Johnson told The Globe, “I proudly endorsed President Trump. I caucused for Trump in February. I voted for Trump in 2016 and 2020. I look forward to serving with Trump after we both win in November. My career and record prove that advancing liberty is my guiding objective, above and beyond my support of any individual politician.”

Democratic congresswoman Susie Lee is seeking her third term in the swing district. She will face one of the seven GOP candidates who have filed for the primary held on June 11, 2024.

Editors note: After this story was published, Drew Johnson sent The Globe additional comments related to details included in the police report which we could not publish due to privacy concerns. See below:

I encourage Helgelien to file whatever police report she’s concocted. She’ll be arrested immediately for filing a false report.

I’d like to address, and debunk, the claims made in the “report”:

First, Helgelien claims I lied about how long I lived in Nevada on a 2018 NV Secretary of State form that was filed when I was initially named by the governor to serve the Board of Optometry. The form was filed in 2018 and I moved to Nevada in 2015. I lived in Nevada for three years and the form properly reflects that.

Second, she claims I lived in Montana based on one byline in one of my thousands of op-ed and columns about conservative policy topics. My wife and I briefly owned a rental property in Montana that we visited a few weeks a year. When I wrote the Montana-focused column, I cited that home in the byline. I always remained a Nevada resident and voter. Helgelien must not realize that owning a rental home in another state does not mean you moved there.

Third, she claims I put a false address on a 2022 campaign filing. That’s simply ridiculous. Most candidates in major races use their campaign mailing address on their Secretary of State filings, not their home addresses for obvious logistical and safety reasons. It is common practice.

Finally, she claims I lied about the length of time I lived in Nevada on a 2022 campaign filing. As I mentioned, I moved to Nevada in 2015 and filed the report in 2022. By that point, I’d lived in Nevada for 7 years and, per the instructions, I rounded up to 8 years. Even though the form was filled out properly per the instructions, I have since amended the form to reflect that I’d lived in Nevada for 7 years on the date the form was filed.

Additionally, my website clearly states that my wife and I have lived in Clark County for “nearly a decade.” There is obviously no intent to deceive voters about the length of time I have been a resident of Nevada.

In fact, I have lived in Nevada continuously for much longer than any of my three main Republican primary opponents. Helgelien fled to Alaska for several years after being forced out of the state senate and only returned in time to lose a 2018 primary for state senate. Dan Schwartz spends most of his time in his primary home in Sausalito, California, only coming to his Las Vegas condo (which is in CD1, not CD3) to run for office. And Marty O’Donnell only just moved to Southern Nevada from Seattle 2 years ago.

Clearly, Helgelien’s claims are nothing more than lies; a last-ditch attempt to try to get attention for her embarrassing, flopping campaign.

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