(Chuck Muth) – Five of the seemingly 17,000 Republican candidates who have filed to run for Nevada governor in the Republican primary faced off in a televised debate Wednesday night. Some quick takes…
1.) Channel 8 did a good job in limiting the debate to the top five VIABLE candidates. Those left off the debate stage are surely unhappy with the snub. However, their campaigns sputtered on take-off and there’s no reason to shorten the air time of candidates who have a credible shot at the nomination.
If their campaigns haven’t caught on with a significant portion of the electorate, that’s the candidate’s fault – unless they want to blame the voters – not Channel 8’s. Everyone has a right to run; however, they don’t have the right to be taken seriously.
2.) Winner: Joe Lombardo. He’s way out in front. And despite the debate being a 4-on-1 handicap match, he held his own. Some of his answers won’t sit well with some conservatives, but no major gaffe that will alter the direction of the race.
3.) Winner: Joey Gilbert. He came off as poised, informed and confident and solidified his position as the challenger with maybe the only shot at catching Lombardo. His biggest problem is the anti-Lombardo vote is split so many ways.
Gotta believe if he’d run for almost any other seat on the ballot this year, he’d be the front-runner. And if he comes up short on June 14, he still has a bright political future. No other candidate this year has garnered such a loyal and passionate army of supporters.
4.) Wash: Guy Nohra. A political newcomer to Nevada, Nohra brings to the table an impressive “American Dream” story and an enviable track record of private business success. And he gains supporters when he meets with them one-on-one.
Still, the campaign hasn’t caught fire with a large segment of voters and it’s impossible to meet them all personally in the closing days of the campaign. He held his own in the debate, but also didn’t have a “breakout” moment big enough to bump Gilbert out as the #1 anti-Lombardo challenger.
5.) Loser: John Lee. Lee’s campaign has never been able to overcome suspicions of his party-switch last year, which many GOP voters view as political opportunism. He has a solid record as an elected official for over 25 years, but “competent management” just doesn’t send a tingle up the legs of p*ssed-off conservative Republican voters.
6.) The Biggest Loser: Dean Heller. No one is buying his “most conservative” boasts and chest-pounding on taxes. He will forever be remembered for his “Never Trump” antics in 2016 that helped put Nevada in Hillary’s column, his flip-flops on abortion and his opposition to repealing ObamaCare when he was in the Senate.
And his repeated snarky references to Lombardo during the debate as “This guy,” dripping with disdain, came off as desperate – which he is. Heller never should have gotten into this race and will hopefully ride off into the sunset after June 14 and permanently retire in political ignominy.
Conclusion: This is just my opinion and you’re free to disagree with it (and many of you will), but the anti-Lombardo challengers failed to draw blood in the debate and Lombardo walked out pretty much unscathed. As such, my odds in this race remain unchanged…
- Joe Lombardo: 4-5
- Joey Gilbert: 10-1
- Guy Nohra: 50-1
- John Lee: 100-1
- Dean Heller: 250-1
- Fred Simon: 500-1
(Disclaimer: Odds are published for entertainment purposes only. No wagering allowed – except for illegal side bets among friends or political adversaries.)
Tish the Squish Meltdown
Yesterday, Nevada Republican Party Chairman Michael McDonald released a full-throated statement of support for conservative Republican attorney general candidate Sigal Chattah over her moderate, Establishment-backed challenger, Tisha Black.
McDonald eviscerated Black for her past support of Democrats such as Harry Reid and Steve Sisolak…
“She has donated tens of thousands of dollars to Democrats over the years. Tisha donated to Governor Sisolak during the height of the Covid-19 lockdowns to keep her recreational marijuana stores open as an essential business when your small business or workplace were shut down.”
In his conclusion, McDonald referred to Chattah (disclaimer: a client) as “the only true Republican in the race.” To which, I’m told, Team Tish was apoplectic and burned up the party’s phone lines with outrage.
For her part, Black took to social media and flailed away at Chattah for cancelling “over $40,000 in TV ads this week.” Yeah, that’s gonna sell. Lots of voters are gonna be moved by that attack (not).
Black also referred to Chattah as “a failure as a lawyer.” But as McDonald pointed out in his letter of support…
“Sigal Chattah has been fighting for Nevadans since day one, suing and winning in court against Governor Sisolak and Attorney General Aaron Ford’s radical policies, lockdowns, and incoherent mandates.”
In addition, the Democrats’ unofficial press secretary, liberal blubber-blogger Jon Ralston – who hates McDonald and conservatives with the “white-hot intensity of a thousand suns” – took to Twitter to denounce the GOP chief for allegedly “interfering in a GOP primary.”
What a nimrod.
Despite the fact that the endorsement process followed by the Nevada GOP at its convention last month was terribly flawed and confusing, the fact remains the party DID officially endorse Chattah over Black.
So why shouldn’t the party openly and aggressively push for a candidate with the party’s official endorsement; the candidate, by the way, who got the highest percent of support out of all the other candidates who were similarly endorsed?
Black never should have parachuted into this race at the last minute. Wrong candidate for the wrong office at the wrong time.
But the Carson City swamp is so intent on nominating somebody they can control – and that sure as hell isn’t Chattah – that they talked Black into throwing her bonnet in the ring to hopefully derail Chattah’s challenge to AG Ford.
Now THAT’S interfering in a GOP primary.
The Laxalt Laxative: Saving Private Laxalt
It seems Nevada U.S. Senate candidate Adam Laxalt’s handlers in DC are having a severe panic attack, as GOP primary challenger Sam Brown seems to have gained some late momentum in his insurgent campaign for the Republican nomination.
DC-based Club for Growth – which reportedly spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in mailers trying to prop up Laxalt in early March – are now coming back into the race with at least another couple-hundred thousand to Save Private Laxalt in these closing days of the campaign.
Somebody back east must be reading some pretty troubling poll numbers. Which would also explain why Team Laxalt is reportedly furiously trying to coax Donald Trump to come out to Nevada and stump for Adam before Election Day.
But even that might not help if this email I received from a Muth’s Truths subscriber is any indication…
“Just so you know, even if Laxalt ‘pulls out the big gun, Trump himself,’ I still won’t vote for him. He’s a hell no. Sam Brown is my choice. I’ll go see Trump, always support Trump, and campaign for Trump. But not Laxalt. Trump doesn’t know Laxalt like we do. He’s not a hard charging, go-getter conservative. Yay Trump! Boo Laxalt!”
Is it really possible Brown could pull off a stunning and historic upset against all the odds? Do you believe in miracles? We’re about to find out.
My Personal Recommendations for ’22 GOP Primaries
Note: Always subject to change right up to Election Day.
FAMOUS LAST WORDS
“For all practical purposes, this primary is over. (These attacks by opponents) are all bogus, they’re not working … because I’m leading in all the polls. I have the most money associated with a successful campaign, I have the endorsement of President Donald Trump and I have the endorsement of 16 of 17 sheriffs.” – GOP gubernatorial candidate Joe Lombardo in his closing statement at Wednesday’s debate
“Nevada is a pro-choice state. I would love to see no abortion. But at the end of the day, that’s not what a governor gets to do. … I absolutely would steer Nevada toward a pro-life state.” – Joey Gilbert at Wednesday’s gubernatorial debate
“Venture capitalist Guy Nohra suggested creating a ‘Battle Born Marshals’ program that would operate similarly to the Federal Air Marshals and defend children (in schools) ‘from these lunatics that go in and prey on children.’” – Nevada Independent story on Wednesday’s gubernatorial debate
“I don’t understand much about politics…” – Liberal blubber-blogger Jon Ralston, 1/2/20
Mr. Muth is president of Citizen Outreach, publisher of Nevada News & Views and blogs at MuthsTruths.com