Wednesday, May 4, 2011

NV-02: Let the Games Begin!

Now that Our Lady of Perpetual Campaigning can go at it yet again, Nevada Republicans are running scared.

Republicans are already threatening to sue over [Secretary of State Ross] Miller's interpretation of the law, but if it stands, we'll see a wide-open, "jungle"-style race where all candidates from all parties compete against each other on a single ballot (there won't be a primary), and whoever emerges with the most votes wins, no matter how bare the plurality. If Democrats can rally around a single candidate—there's word that Treasurer Kate Marshall will get in the race—then there's a chance we can steal this steadfastly red seat from the GOP.

That's because Republicans are likely to have a much harder time uniting behind just one person. Sharron Angle is already raising money for a run—and hollering that GOP power-brokers want to steal the race away from her. But she's so toxic and unacceptable in Republican circles that they're no way the bigwigs will cave in to her threats. That means at least two well-known (and well-funded) Republicans will run, and even if Angle can only take 10% or even just 5%, that might be enough for [a Democrat to win].

So what happens now? Can a Democrat really win this seat? Kate Marshall seems to think so, as she's all but certain to run now. And hey, considering Sharrrrrrrrrrrrrrrron Angle is in, Kirk Lippold is in, and the Nevada Republican Party power brokers have lost control of this election, all hell may really break loose!

National political pundits are already trying to interpret the meaning of this special election. Both parties are ready to test messages in Reno, in Elko, and elsewhere. And without a doubt, this may very well become the most litigated election in Nevada history.

But hey, democracy isn't always pretty. And frankly, it's better for Nevada to experience more of this. We're already having to learn the hard way that not everything can be settled in back room deals. Sometimes, we just have to let the people decide.

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