By Chuck Muth
Part four of a series
The Nevada Assembly Republican Caucus (ARC) has been the most screwed up, dysfunctional, incompetently-run GOP political operation in the state for years…and that’s saying something!
However, it also poses the BEST opportunity for Nevada conservatives to seriously and realistically change things in 2022 depending on how the new district lines are drawn after the 2020 Census number are finalized. So let’s get at it…
Currently there are 16 Republicans in the State Assembly and 26 Democrats. And barring some electoral miracle like in 2014 (not likely), Democrats will continue to control the Assembly once the general election dust settles in November 2022.
Now, as currently constituted the ARC has 15 members…with Assemblywoman Annie Black (disclaimer: a client) serving as a
Republican but opting not to be a member of the lame-game caucus in the 2021 session.
Philosophically, the 16 Republicans currently in the Assembly break down as follows: Seven pretty solid conservatives: Black, John Ellison, Andy Matthews, Jill Dickman, Richard McArthur, Jim Wheeler and Robin Titus.
Five moderate-conservatives: Lisa Krasner, Alexis Hansen, Heidi Kasama, Greg Hafen and P.K. O’Neill. Four RINOs (Republicans in Name Only): Tom Roberts, Jill Tolles, Glen Leavitt and Melissa Hardy.
What made this Gang-That-Couldn’t-Shoot-“Righ
And she kept on the payroll two of the most incompetent, inept caucus staffers this side of the Rio Bravo — Eric Roberts and Omar De La Rosa.
To give you just a quick idea of just how bad these two are, at the time I wrote this Muth’s Truths, the last Press Release the ARC had published on its website was from way back on November 24, 2020.
Not a SINGLE press release was posted during the 2021 legislative session! Communications ninjas they’re not. But here’s the thing most folks haven’t noticed yet which holds out so much opportunity for Nevada conservatives.
Of the 16 current Republicans, at least 6 definitely aren’t coming back…
—Ellison and Titus are termed out (which means a new Minority Leader will have to be chosen who, hopefully, will jettison Eric Roberts and De La Rosa)
—Matthews is running for State Controller
—Roberts (Tom) has announced he’s running for Clark County sheriff
—And Leavitt and Wheeler have announced they’re running for State Senate
In addition, it’s suspected that…
—Krasner intends to run for RINO Sen. Ben Kieckhefer’s seat, as might
Tolles depending on how the lines are redrawn
—Hardy is expected to run for RINO Sen. Keith Pickard’s seat if, as
expected, he opts not to run for re-election
—Black could run for RINO Sen. Joe Hardy’s seat (against RINO Leavitt)
depending on how the lines are redrawn
—And Kasama may try to oust Democrat incumbent Sen. Marilyn Dondero-Loop, again depending on how the lines are drawn
Since Assembly seats are for two-year terms, if you run for something else you MUST give up your Assembly seat. So if all the above comes to pass, Assembly Republicans could be 11 down and 5 left standing: Dickman, McArthur, Hansen, Hafen and O’Neill.
Dickman and McArthur are possibly in danger if their seats are redrawn with more Democrats — which also could drop Republicans from 16 back to a super-minority 14 in the lower house.
And Hafen and O’Neill are very susceptible, thanks to their moderate voting records, to a GOP primary challenge if credible, viable candidates emerge (hopefully).
So — although highly doubtful — it’s actually possible that Alexis Hansen could become the Queen Bee of the ARC by default as the only returning Republican member!
Realistically, though, it’s more likely that Black, Tolles, Dickman, McArthur, Hafen and O’Neill will return, and possibly Kasama. That’d be three conservatives, one RINO and three moderates.
So depending on which Republicans get elected to the “open” seats, conservatives *could* secure the majority in the ARC and be in a position in the 2023 session to be an actual OPPOSITION party instead of a weak-kneed, go-along-to-get-along, thank-you-sir-may-I-have-anoth
And that’s the FIRST STEP necessary if Republicans over the next ten years are to have ANY hope of doing in the Nevada Assembly what Newt Gingrich did in the House of Representatives in 1994 — winning the majority.
But it won’t be enough to simply elect more conservatives.
We need to elect more BOAT ROCKING conservatives who aren’t afraid to get in the arena and slug it out with the Democrats.
Who will fight rather than forfeit.
Who will compete rather than concede.
Who will throw a punch rather than take a dive.
Again, although we don’t know how the lines are going to be redrawn, as of today we do know at least 6 Assembly seats will be “open” next year…with more fun to come.
Conservatives, start your engines!
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Chuck Muth is president of Citizen Outreach, publisher of Nevada News & Views and blogs at MuthsTruths.com
By Chuck Muth