Election ’22: An early look at the Nevada playing field

By Chuck Muth
Part three of a series
Before looking ahead to the upcoming State Senate races in Nevada, a couple updates on races I’ve already covered in Part I and Part II…
Republican Tom Heck, an Air Force veteran, is running for governor, as is Dr. Fred Simon, a trauma surgeon and small businessman from Gardnerville.
Manny Kess is running for State Treasurer. Don’t know anything about him yet, but have heard some VERY good things.
And “Maladministration Mindy” Robinson — last seen getting crushed in a GOP congressional primary last year with just 13 percent of the vote — is still running for the 3rd Congressional District as a third-party spoiler candidate to help Democrat incumbent Rep. Susie Lee get re-elected.
Now on to the State Senate…
The current partisan make-up is 12 Democrats to 9 Republicans. But the philosophical make-up is more like 16 liberals and 5
moderate/conservatives.
The four hard-core Republicans in Name Only (RINOs) are Joe Hardy, Ben Kieckhefer, Heidi Gansert, and Keith “The Human Flip-Flop” Pickard.
Hardy enjoys the distinction of being the only sitting Republican state legislator who voted for BOTH of the largest tax hikes in Nevada history — the first in 2003 as an assemblyman and the second in 2015 as a senator. Conservative taxpayers ain’t gonna miss this guy!
As for Kieckhefer, I don’t think he’s ever met a tax he wouldn’t hike. Indeed, he voted for that massive mining tax hike this session even though the state was awash in Blue State Bailout money and a windfall of unexpected post-COVID tax revenue.
The bad news is Kieckhefer is rumored to be eyeing a run for the State Controller seat next year. The good news is conservative Assemblyman Andy Matthews has already announced his candidacy for this office and will mop the floor Kieckhefer.
Gansert — RINO Gov. Brian Sandoval’s former chief-of-stuff and double-dipping/six-figure government employee — has been a mushy bowl of political Jell-O her entire legislative career, voting for one bad Democrat bill after another more times than Hunter Biden has snorted coke.
And yes, she, too, voted for that mining tax hike. The bad news is Gansert is said to running for lieutenant governor.
The good news is she would likely be pulverized by conservative Las Vegas City Councilwoman Michele Fiore in the GOP primary should Fiore also seek that seat. The bad news, however, is that Gansert is mid-term and would remain in the State Senate.
The good news is that Hardy and Kieckhefer are mercifully termed out and can’t run for the Senate again. The bad news is they could easily be replaced with incumbent Assembly RINOs seeking to move up a rung on the political ladder who would be every bit as bad…if not worse!
RINO Assemblyman Glen Leavitt has already announced he’s running for Hardy’s seat and RINO Assemblywoman Jill Tolles is said to be eying Kieckhefer’s seat… depending on how the district lines are redrawn later this year after the 2020 Census numbers are made official.
The good news is that conservative firebrand talk-show host Monica Jaye has already announced she also intends to run for Kieckhefer’s seat…again depending on how the lines are redrawn. A Tolles-Jaye smack-‘em-down/drag-‘em-out GOP primary fight would be something to behold.
Now let me see if I can get this Pickard guy’s track record over the past year correct: He was against the mining tax before he was for the mining tax before he was against the mining tax before he was for the mining tax before he was against the mining tax before he voted for it.
The good news is Pickard is toast if he chooses to run again. The bad news is the GOP is likely to lose this seat unless a credible, viable challenger takes him out in the primary and keeps the seat in play in the general.
The bad news is that Senate Minority Leader James Settelmeyer is also termed out. The good news is that conservative Assembly members Jim Wheeler and Robin Titus plan to run for this seat depending on how the new lines are drawn.
The bad news is that even though Titus has a solid conservative voting record personally, she appointed the Assembly RINO triumvirate of Tolles, Leavitt and Tom Roberts — now running for sheriff to defund, defang and demoralize the Las Vegas Metro Police Department — to GOP caucus leadership positions this past session which made the bad situation horribly worse.
Terrible judgment and total lack of principled leadership.
But the REALLY bad news is that redistricting could result in Settelmeyer’s seat being moved to Clark County where we have an infestation of California-bred Democrat transplants soiling our state.
So depending on how the lines are redrawn, Republicans are in serious danger of losing two seats in the Senate…which would put them in the super-minority (14-7)…and replacing two RINOs with two more equally bad RINOs…which would keep conservatives in a Super-Duper-Party-Pooper minority.
Which is why I encourage freshman GOP State Sen. Carrie Buck to change her mind about running for Chair of the Clark County Republican Party and instead laser-focus on avoiding the Armageddon-like cataclysmic threat staring down the Senate GOP Caucus in 2022. But, hell…what do I know, right?
Next up: The most dysfunctional, inept, Keystone Kops political organization in the state — the Republican Assembly Caucus. Ugh.
* * * * *
Chuck Muth is president of Citizen Outreach, publisher of Nevada News & Views and blogs at MuthsTruths.com

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