Perkins opts out for Nevada Governor

In what could be a very positive development for Democrats in Nevada, State Assembly leader Richard Perkins has just announced his decision not to seek the Democratic Nomination for Governor.  

His decision leaves two Democrats in the race, Senate Minority Leader Dina Titus, who has made her formal announcement, and Henderson Mayor Jim Gibson, who is expected to make his announcement soon.  

Titus, a popular State Senator from the Las Vegas area, has been appearing at almost any function since before last May, making no secret that she wanted to run for Governor.  She has been working the rural areas extensively since shortly after the last special legislative session when she made her formal announcement.  Titus has the grassroots support needed to be a successful candidate.  She is trying to follow the mold of the popular former Governor and Senator Richard Bryan.

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Perkins on the other hand, with a long history of working within the system, being an able negotiator, and with a law and order reputation as a former peace officer that would go over well in the rural counties of this state, was widely seen as the establishment pick to run for Governor.  

Jim Gibson has little name recognition in the northern and rural areas of the state; my impression is that he is a conservative Democratic candidate.  I have no idea what effect the withdrawal of Perkins will have on Gibson's decision to run.  Gibson should not be confused with...

The Dark Side:

Jim Gibbons:   Current Bush rubber stamp in Congress.  After being denied chairmanship of a committee by DeLay, decided to take his marbles and go home.  He has an extensive outreach network in his congressional district which encompasses the entire state of Nevada except for Clark County (Las Vegas) and some bits of counties surrounding Clark.  

Gibbons has made a name for himself by pushing initiative petitions to require a super majority of representatives to raise taxes.  Much to the embarrassment of the GOP establishment when it came time for Governor Guinn ( R ) to ask the Senate ( Rep. Majority) and Assembly (Dem. Majority) to increase taxes.  A minority (mean 15) of radical Republican assembly members held up the increase and caused a very expensive special session;  A deadlock that was broken only by an adverse ruling against the initiative by the Nevada Supreme Court.   The initiative has made Gibbons a lot of subtle enemies in the state GOP.

Bob Beers: first term State Senator from Las Vegas, was a member of the Mean 15 in the Assembly the previous session.   A strong fiscal conservative, wants to relentlessly cut services from government.  His main mantra is lowering taxes, despite his Senatorial vote for the record $5.9 billion state budget in the legislative session that just ended.

Loraine Hunt: Current Lieutenant Governor who is popular in Las Vegas but has little rural or northern support.  She was elected to current office mainly on the coattails of the current Governor Kenny Guinn who is prohibited by law from seeking another term.

Congressman Gibbons is clearly the front runner for Governor at this point.  However, his rubber stamp reputation should work against him in a state that prides itself with being `independent'.

With Perkins now out of the race there is no real hand-wringing on the Democratic side about a nasty primary.  Titus can use your support as Gibbons has over two million for this race.  Titus seems to be the grassroots Dems choice and thanks to early, hard campaigning, has emerged as the front runner for the Democratic nomination. She is an old style campaigner who goes out and asks for votes, her advantage will be in getting out and meeting people. An advantage she has already been using.  

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Comments

8 Comments

Perkins
Perkins ought to run for the Senate now.
by Jerome Armstrong 2005-09-22 01:54AM | 0 recs
Re: Perkins
He'd have to do it probably without the support of Harry Reid though, who apparently likes Ensign and the working relationship they now have and use to get things done for the people of Nevada.
by Tim Saler 2005-09-22 06:00AM | 0 recs
Re: Perkins
Here is a link to an article about the 2004 Senate race in which Ensign showed great indifference to Reid's opposition.  It goes on to say that Ensign father endorsed Reid.  My guess is Reid will return the favor to whom ever runs against Ensign.
by THE MODERATE 2005-09-22 06:52AM | 0 recs
by THE MODERATE 2005-09-22 08:21AM | 0 recs
Not Likely to Run For Senate, but...
Harry has announced that he won't work to oppose Ensign.  

The current arrangement works well for Nevada right now.  Wingers can't really use their majority to punish Reid without maiming Ensign.  Harry can bring home the bacon and still be an effective winger opponent with Ensign still in the Senate.  If a Dem beats Ensign and the Dems are still the minority party in the Senate, there is nothing to stop the wingnuts from causing all kinds of damage to Nevada.

Of course this scenario can change, but only through outside events that are not under either's control.

I think Perkins is a resident of Henderson, a susburb of Las Vegas, that would put him in CD-3. I think it is more likely he will run for Congress in CD-3 opposing Jon Porter(R), who won his last race with a quick scare campaign at the end for a squeaker.  Porter's support is anemic at best as he has really done nothing for his district.  

Harry can support this opposition, as no matter what the outcome, it changes nothing in Reid's political landscape dynamic, (Dems very unlikely to regain control of Congress this next cycle, but we can reduce the margin).

I could be wrong but I think this is the most likely possibility.

This scenario in one stroke can put two strong Dem candidates in seperate races and begin creation a strong stable of up and commers who can retain major positions on both the state and federal level for the next 15-20 years.  

If Jill Derby takes the open seat in CD-2 from the wingers, Control of the State Executive and Congress will pass from strong Repubs control to strong Dems.  After the next cycle the Senate will be at 50/50 for the next six years with a nuturing environment for Dems.  I think Reid is establishing a Democratic Legacy in Nevada that will far outlast his tenure in the Senate.  

by NvDem 2005-09-22 07:44AM | 0 recs
The thing that I worry about
is if Gibson wins the Dem primary, people end up confusing Jim Gibbons and Jim Gibson.
by raginillinoian 2005-09-22 07:47AM | 0 recs
Re: The thing that I worry about
That's a really good point. Probably means a lot more than most of the other strategy we've all talked about here.
by Tim Saler 2005-09-22 08:22AM | 0 recs
Who would you all go with?
by Liberal 2005-09-22 11:59AM | 0 recs

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