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Finally, Something for Nevada Republicans to Celebrate

(Chuck Muth) – For many years now, Republicans have been kvetching about the political “Reid Machine” which was built to elect Democrats.  The machine played hardball politics; picking candidates in primaries who the D’s thought had the best chance to win in November.

Remember in 2006 when Sen. Harry Reid threw his support behind the more-moderate Jim Gibson in the Democrat primary over Dina Titus?  Man, the patented Titus F-bombs flew over that one!

As reporter Anjeanette Damon noted in February 2012, “(Sen.) Reid and his lieutenants anoint candidates, eliminate contested primaries and, ultimately, win elections.”

“Why aren’t Republicans doing the same thing?”

Well, because for the past dozen years or so there hasn’t been a top GOP elected official willing to expend political capital to build such a political operation on the Republican side.

Ex-Gov. Brian Sandoval and ex-Sen. Dean Heller had no real interest in races other than their own.  Only rarely did they line up behind GOP candidates in primaries and invest time and money in down-ballot races.

For Sandoval, the best Republican candidates could hope for was a photo-op and a milquetoast endorsement statement.  Big whoop.

In light of this leadership vacuum, the responsibility for building a farm team and focusing on WINNING elections fell on Chairman Michael McDonald of the Nevada Republican Party.

But the party has mostly stayed out of primary races – allowing goofballs like Eddie “Insert Silly Nickname Here” Hamilton to be treated like credible candidates instead of telling them to take a hike.

On the two occasions the party diverged from this self-defeating policy, it so fouled up the pre-primary endorsement process with backroom deals in smoke-filled “star chamber” rooms that the endorsements were virtually worthless.

Well, there’s a new sheriff in town…literally.

Former Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo is now Governor of Nevada.

To his credit – and to the consternation of many conservatives – the governor attempted to work with the Democrat majority in the Legislature this session, only to have them spit in his eye, especially on the issues of Opportunity Scholarships for low-income families and election reform.

No one can say he didn’t try.

But after the Democrats kicked sand in his face over his proposal in July to use unspent COVID relief funds to restore cuts the Democrats made to the scholarship program…well, all bets were off.

According to an August 23 report by Megan Barth of the Nevada Globe…

“Appearing on the Kevin Wall radio show yesterday morning, Governor Joe Lombardo issued a warning to state Democrats that he will do ‘everything in his power’ to campaign against the Democratic majority who blocked many of his legislative priorities, including school choice – a centerpiece of his State of the Union address and his successful 2020 campaign.”

But talk is cheap, right?  We’ve heard this sort of thing before.  Does he mean it?

Well, remember this man’s motto: “Get…Sh*t…Done.”

Last week, Jessica Hill of the Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that “Gov. Joe Lombardo, Nevada’s top Republican elected official, has endorsed Assemblywoman Heidi Kasama in a competitive congressional race.”

And resources will come with that very early endorsement.  Gov. Lombardo has been putting together a strong team of political professionals and donors who will do for certain GOP candidates what the ol’ Reid Machine has been doing for the Dems.

The “anointment,” of course, angered the three Republicans who had already announced for this seat.

But while they may be more “conservative” than Kasama, when you look at the make-up of the district – definitely “purple” – the assemblywoman probably has the best shot at flipping this seat next year.

Lombardo is more interested in WINNING than in philosophical purity.  As conservative icon William F. Buckley so famously put it: The most conservative candidate who can win.

Kasama’s primary opponents are now going to be swimming against the current if they don’t decide to seek another seat before filing for office opens next March.

I’ll almost guarantee the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) will line up behind Gov. Lombardo’s pick.  And that comes with lots of money, endorsements, connections, and third-party independent expenditures.

It’s going to be quite painful for GOP candidates who don’t get the governor’s seal of approval…just as it was for Democrat candidates who didn’t get Reid’s support. There’s gonna be a lot of bitchin’, whinin’, complainin’, and belly-achin’.

And not everyone’s going to agree with every endorsement the governor makes.

But Republicans can celebrate that it looks like they finally have a governor willing to take risks with early endorsements to limit contested primaries and better position the party to win races in the general election.

Sorry, Eddie.  Always an usher; never a groom.

7 Worst Habits of Highly Unelectable People

  1. Picking the wrong race
  2. Picking the wrong district
  3. Picking the wrong issues
  4. Picking the wrong time
  5. Picking the wrong consultants
  6. Picking unnecessary fights with the media
  7. Picking door-knocking over fundraising


“Heidi Kasama is a respected, thoughtful legislator and successful businesswoman committed to her constituents and community.  Heidi has my full endorsement, and I look forward to working with her when she’s in Congress…” – Nevada Gov. Joe Lombardo, 8/30/23

Mr. Muth is president of Citizen Outreach, publisher of Nevada News & Views, and founder of  You can sign up for his conservative, Nevada-focused e-newsletter at  His views are his own.


This blog/website is written and paid for by…me, Chuck Muth, a United States citizen. I publish my opinions under the rights afforded me by the Creator and the First Amendment to the United States Constitution as adopted by our Founding Fathers on September 17, 1787 at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania without registering with any government agency or filling out any freaking reports. And anyone who doesn’t like it can take it up with George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin and John Adams the next time you run into each other.

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