Elections 2010: What color will Nevada bleed?
- Reid free-falls while Tarkanian rises
- Increase your political savvy in 2010
Nevada’s fight for the right America
Newly elected Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) heaped heavy praise on one man for helping him do the unthinkable. “I’ll never forget the help of [this] man, who took the time to meet with me months ago, who told me I could win,” Brown told supporters in his acceptance speech Tuesday night. “[He] gave me confidence for the fight… a truly great and heroic American… my new colleague, Senator John McCain.”
McCain (R-AZ) may have failed to beat Obama, but like running mate and supporter Sarah Palin, he has found a way to change America’s political landscape, not as a candidate, but as a right-wing cheerleader and career coach.
Could he do the same for Nevada? Brian Krolicki says, “Yes, he can.”
Nevada Lt. Gov. Krolicki is reconsidering a run against Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV). “There are serious people making compelling arguments to me both in the state and out of the state to reconsider the Harry Reid race, and based on that pressure and those conversations, I am indeed looking at it,” Krolicki told the Las Vegas Sun Wednesday.
One of those “serious people” is Sen. John McCain, whose Nevada presidential campaign Krolicki chaired. “It’s hard not to consider this when you have people like John McCain asking you to,” Krolicki said.
Washington pundits worry that none of the current Republican candidates is strong enough to unseat Reid, despite his languishing poll numbers in the tarnished silver state. The eleven Republican candidates are led by former UNLV basketball star-turned-businessman Danny Tarkanian, former Nevada Republican Party head and state Sen. Sue Lowden, and former state Assemblywoman Sharron Angle, the most conservative of the front-runners.
Republican voters will chose their candidate June 8, and the winner will face Reid in November.
Krolicki’s name is known statewide, from Washoe’s rugged Reno to the glitzy Vegas strip. Nevada insiders view Krolicki as more polished and experienced than the other Republican candidates, successfully winning three statewide elections, two as state treasurer before his 2006 election to the lieutenant governor post.
Just 13 months ago, Krolicki was considered the leading Republican to run against Reid, until a December 2008 indictment was filed against him on charges he misused state treasury funds. No funds were missing, and the indictment consumed a year of valuable political time. It was dismissed for lack of substantive charges in December 2009. Many accused prosecutor Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto, a strong Reid Democrat, of filing a bogus indictment deliberately to ruin Krolicki’s chances against Reid.
Krolicki himself has suggested that Reid was behind the indictment, which he could use in the campaign. “It’s a good story: The Democrats wanted me out so they trumped up the charges,” argued David Damore, a UNLV political scientist. “[Krolicki] can portray himself as the candidate the Democrats did not want to face.”
Still, some worry that Krolicki doesn’t have the political weight to clear the already-crowded field. “Running for treasurer and lieutenant governor doesn’t translate into an 800-pound gorilla to scare others out of the race,” said Chuck Muth, a conservative activist, former executive director of the Nevada Republican Party, and founder of an anti-Reid Political Action Committee.
While he may not look like an 800-pound gorilla, Sen. John McCain catapulted underdog Scott Brown to a resounding victory in Massachusetts. McCain may be exactly the kind of Republican heavy weight that Krolicki and the Nevada RNC have been looking for to unseat Harry Reid.
This article is part of the series: Elections 2010: What color will Nevada bleed?
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(Photo: Steve Marcus)