Reid free-falls while Tarkanian rises
- Nevada’s bi-polar politics on health care
Nevada fights for the right America
Conservatives may call him a RINO (Republican in Name Only), but can you fault the man who Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) says encouraged him to 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 brought much needed change to America’s current 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.”
Thanks to Brown’s amazing win in Massachusetts, 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 eleven current Republican candidates is strong enough to unseat Reid, despite his languishing poll numbers in the tarnished silver state. The 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 of misusing state treasury funds in his previous post. The indictment consumed a year of valuable political time and was dismissed in December 2009 for lack of substantive charges. Many accused prosecutor Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto, a strong Reid Democrat, of deliberately filing a bogus indictment to ruin Krolicki’s chances against Reid.
Krolicki himself has suggested that Reid was behind the indictment, a fact 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.”
Does Krolicki have the political weight to clear the over-crowded Republican 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 is the antithesis of an 800-pound gorilla, Sen. John McCain did succeed in motivating underdog Brown to claim a resounding victory. McCain might be exactly the kind of Republican heavy weight Krolicki needs to dispose of 11 Republican challengers and 4-time incumbent Harry Reid.
This article is part of two series, Fight for the Right America and Inside Harry’s Head.
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(Photo: Steve Marcus)