Slightly Good News for Jim Gibbons

Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons hasn't gotten much good news since he was elected in 2006, but he received a boost this week. Former state senator ...
by | March 18, 2009
 

Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons hasn't gotten much good news since he was elected in 2006, but he received a boost this week. Former state senator Joe Heck, who's regarded as a potentially strong statewide candidate, announced that he is challenging Gibbons in a Republican primary in 2010.

Now, I know that sounds like bad news. For Gibbons, though, whose tenure has been plagued by personal scandals and economic upheaval, this is what passes for a positive development.

Gibbons is unpopular enough that it's unlikely (though not impossible) he could win a Republican primary against a single strong opponent. Now he doesn't have to try. Heck is his second credible primary challenger, along with North Las Vegas Michael Montandon. It's possible more candidates could still join the field.

What's more, Heck and Montandon both hail from Clark County. Normally, that's not a bad thing in Nevada politics, since more than three-quarters of Nevadans live there. However, Gibbons' base, if he still has one, is in Reno and the rest of the Southern Nevada, which he represented in Congress. If Heck and Montandon split the Clark vote, perhaps Gibbons could sneak to victory.

Still, the more likely scenario is probably that Gibbons decides against running for reelection at all. If he has virtually no chance of winning the general election, what's the point of winning the primary?

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

Join the Discussion

After you comment, click Post. You can enter an anonymous Display Name or connect to a social profile.

More from Politics