Wednesday, September 16, 2009

NV-Gov: Sandoval's In... Officially

OK, we all knew this would happen. Still, I was hearing some rumors that Brian Sandoval might challenge Harry Reid for Senate. Well, at least he can breathe a little more easily.

But Rory Reid? Not so much.

"There were days when I woke up and said I'm going to stay where I am and there were days when I'd wake up and say it's your duty to try and make a difference," he said.

He said he was first approached early this summer by Republican political consultants Pete Ernaut and Greg Ferraro about launching an unprecedented-- in Nevada-- challenge against the sitting governor.

"I never called them and said, 'I think I want to be a candidate for governor,'" Sandoval said. "Frankly, when they came to me the first time, seriously, I didn't think it was a serious consideration."

Oh, and he says Johnny Casino did NOT recruit him to run. (Steve Sebelius has more on that.)

He also said he spoke twice to U.S. Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., about running for governor.

But he strongly denied anyone recruited him for the race, saying the decision was his own. He said he reached it after many long conversations with his wife.

But hey, at least we need not worry too much. Nevada Republicans still don't seem to know how to win. They're already screwing up their chances against Harry Reid, and former North las Vegas Mayor Mike Montandon wants to beat up Sandoval to ease Rory Reid's burden in the general.

Montandon has launched an offensive against Sandoval, seeking to tar him as fickle for leaving several offices mid-term for the next opportunity.

"Brian Sandoval quit mid-term in the Nevada Assembly," Montandon wrote in a recent fund-raising letter. "Brian Sandoval quit in the middle of his term as attorney general, virtually handing the office to a liberal Democrat in the next election. And now, Brian Sandoval says he will quit his job as a federal judge and give (President) Barack Obama the opportunity to appoint another liberal judge to the federal bench.

"Since when is quitting a qualification for governor?"

I'll be honest right now. Sandoval looks like the Kenny Guinn kind of moderate-libertarian Republican that Nevadans don't mind electing. If he's the GOP nominee, Democrats will suddenly have more of an uphill battle to climb in the Governor's race.

However it won't be impossible to beat Sandoval, especially if Republicans like Montandon and Former State Senator Joe Heck bloody him enough in the primary. Or better yet, Heck could steal enough "moderate" GOP votes away from Sandoval to tip the primary win to Montandon or "Luv Guv Gibbons". And especially if the rabidly far-right GOP base turns out en masse, Sandoval may not have the GOP nomination automatically bestowed upon him.

So already, the 2010 election is bringing the high drama back to The High Mojave. Barbara Buckley won't run for Governor, but Brian Sandoval will. Republicans have their guns out for Harry Reid, but they can't seem to stop shooting each other in the mean time. Wow, if only I had known before how exciting Nevada politics can be!

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