Tuesday, June 12, 2012

What's About to Happen Tonight?

Get ready for a a very bumpy ride tonight. And perhaps the biggest and baddest ride of them all will be the NV-04 G-O-TEA primary.

Republicans believe they may have a chance, given that a portion of the district is Republican rural Nevada, which turns out more consistently than urban, Democratic Clark County. Also, they believe they have effective attacks against Horsford.

But first, Republicans need a nominee.

The GOP has had a heated primary for the seat. Competing are Danny Tarkanian, a businessman and son of UNLV legend Jerry Tarkanian; state Sen. Barbara Cegavske, a conservative veteran of Carson City; and Dan Schwartz, a businessman who spent thousands of dollars from his own wealth on his campaign.

And then there’s perennial candidate Kenneth Wegner, who has neither raised nor spent money. But polls show he is competitive.

If he wins in this election where his opponents have attacked each other, a word of advice: Ignore just about everything you read from political parties, pundits and reporters. We know nothing.

Republicans think they have a shot against Steven Horsford, but their thinking is increasingly looking like delusions of grandeur. Really, take a look at these candidates. Danny Tarkanian has name recognition like hardly any other Vegas politician, Barbara Cegavske has a host of Carson City insider connections, and Dan Schwartz has a crapload of money. Yet for all their supposed strengths, this primary has exposed them all as fairly weak candidates. Whoever wins this primary won't have an easy hoe in the general.

And of course, that's not the only game in town tonight. In fact, there are several key Legislature primaries on both sides to watch. On the Republican side, SD 9 in Southwest Vegas has turned incredibly contentious as "tea party" backed Brent Jones and his friends have turned increasingly personal in attacking GOP Establishment backed Mari St. Martin. Also on the Republican side, SD 18 has been an ideological tour de force between Establishment backed Scott Hammond and "tea party" backed Jonathan McArthur.

And then, there's the big Democratic contest progressives across the state will be watching. Blue Dog State Senator John Lee is facing progressive challenger Patricia Spearman in what's perhaps the toughest fight in all of John Lee's political career. Regardless of the final results tonight, John Lee's future will be far different from what any of us had originally imagined. And going forward, progressives will be more emboldened to take on conservatives in the future.

In addition, we have plenty of hot Assembly races that will be determined today. All in all, today will be quite eventful... Even if most primary voters have already done so. In fact, that's the real wild card that will decide a number of politicians' fates tonight.

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