For Nevada, Are Two Reids Too Many?

Fundraising figures indicate that there are two very serious Democratic candidates for governor of Nevada, as the Review-Journal reports: Assembly Speaker Barbara Buckley, D-Las Vegas, ...
by | January 21, 2009
 

Fundraising figures indicate that there are two very serious Democratic candidates for governor of Nevada, as the Review-Journal reports:

Assembly Speaker Barbara Buckley, D-Las Vegas, raised $590,000 over the course of the year, leaving her with nearly $1 million in her campaign account, according to an aide.

Clark County Commissioner Rory Reid, also a Democrat, raised $670,000 in a new gubernatorial campaign fund and had $370,000 left from his commission campaigns, giving him about $1 million in the bank as well.

Though it's still early, 2010 looks like the perfect time for a Democrat to run for governor of Nevada. Republican Gov. Jim Gibbons is the nation's second-least-popular governor and the least popular governor who isn't accused of selling a U.S. Senate seat to the highest bidder.

Even if Gibbons isn't the Republican nominee in 2010, his party is likely to be weakened by his tenure. Plus, Democrats have made dramatic voter registration gains in Nevada -- gains that seem to reflect lasting demographic changes, not just a fleeting preference for the Democratic Party.

For Rory Reid, however, the timing is awkward. His father, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, is also up for reelection in 2010. The elder Reid has mediocre approval numbers and is considered vulnerable.

So, if Nevadans sour on Harry, will they be skeptical of Rory? Or, if they decide Harry does deserve another term, will they be hesitant to vote for two Reids on the same ballot? Rory Reid's family ties are part of the reason he's a major political player in Nevada, but I suspect that his last name will be at least a modest obstacle if he does decide to run in 2010.

Josh Goodman
Josh Goodman  |  Former Staff Writer
mailbox@governing.com

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