Friday, October 28, 2011

NV-03: Another Democrat Running Against Heck?

Until very recently, all the speculation about NV-03 has centered around John Oceguera challenging Joe Heck... But is Oceguera about to get a primary challenge? And one that's NOT coming from the left?

Honestly, I'm still trying to make sense of this. Last week, James Haning filed to run for Congress. And judging by his Henderson address, it looks like he's running in the new NV-03 that was just approved by Judge Russell yesterday. And make a note of the (not so) new partisan flavor of NV-03, as that may come in handy later to explain what's happening.

So who is James Haning? Honestly, I'm still trying to figure that out. Apparently, he offers "how to kits" for home based marketing. And he's behind (the now defunct?) "Luxurian Resorts International". And he was President & CEO of a natural health foods business near Sacramento. And he was a real estate financier in Palm Springs?

WTF??!! Seriously... WTF?

It seems like Haning came to Southern Nevada relatively recently, and it's unclear (at best) what his private sector background really is. But to make this strange and sordid tale even stranger, it seems like he may be running in the wrong party.

While we've heard quite a bit from some progressives that want more primary challenges from the left, it doesn't look like that's what Haning is doing. Rather, he's saying he wants to repeal health care reform and Wall Street reform. And his Issues page has approving references to "flat tax" myths and Arizona SB 1070 style draconian anti-immigrant codes. So before Haning starts pleading to Hugh Jackson that he's the one true "bold progressive", I just wanted to put this out before it possibly gets edited out at other sites.

So what's going on here? Is James Haning just trying to position himself as "moderate" or "conservative" for the general election? (Remember, the district has about 3% more Democrats than Republicans and went 50-45 Reid-Angle last fall.) Is he feeling confident about defeating Oceguera in the primary? May he try running to Oceguera's left soon if running to the right doesn't work? And how is Joe Heck's campaign team taking this curious development in the race?

Lordy knows we have our share of "political grifters" here in Nevada. Some even vacillate between the Republican and Democratic parties in desperate ploys to be elected to something, anything!, just as long as they're (again) on the ballot. Is James Haning one of them? I honestly can't say yet. I'm still awaiting more evidence to point either way. But without a doubt, the NV-03 race just became even more interesting.

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