By Chuck Muth
For Republicans, the single most important race that’ll be on the 2022 ballot in Nevada is the governor’s race.
I know some think it’s the U.S. Senate race, with the D’s and R’s tied in the Swamp at 50-50. However, there are multiple races in other states that could, and likely will, tip the majority to the GOP’s favor. It doesn’t all ride on Nevada.
But here’s the cold reality…
After the Democrats redrew the district lines last month, it became all but impossible for Republicans to win the majority in either the Nevada State Senate or the Nevada State Assembly. In fact, they’ll be lucky if both houses don’t end up with the D’s in a super-majority.
And if Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak wins a second term, he’ll sign every crazy, left-wing, socialist bill to come out of the Legislature. He’ll have nothing to lose or worry about. He’ll be term-limited out. We’ll be officially and fully Californicated in the blink of an eye.
To save Nevada, everything — EVERYTHING — comes down to electing a Republican for governor who will veto the most damaging bills the Democrat-controlled Legislature sends to his or her desk.
Many of you have written asking who I’m supporting in the GOP primary which now has at least nine candidates vying for the Top Dog slot. But frankly, it’s still too early for me. I’m 99 percent neutral… the exception being I think it would be political suicide for Republicans to nominate Dean “Never Trump” Heller.
Heller is a proven statewide loser. The Dems can’t stand him. And a large portion of Trumpworld despises The Great Waffler even more. As a sitting U.S. senator he couldn’t even hold his seat in 2018, pulling just 45 percent of the vote against a lackluster, unaccomplished, Pelosi-puppet, nothing-burger.
Which doesn’t mean he can’t win the GOP nomination. They don’t call the Republican Party the Stupid Party for nothing.
Indeed, Republicans almost never blow an opportunity to blow an opportunity. In such a crowded field, 25 percent of the primary vote could win. In fact, that’s exactly what Heller is counting on.
The primary is in June. Filing opens in March. But the “pre-primary primary” occurs on January 15. That’s when all the candidates have to file their campaign finance reports for 2021. And fundraising success is an important indicator of political viability.
As we approach the end of the year, here’s a look at what I see are the odds for each candidate in this race AT THIS TIME and WITHOUT MAKING ANY ENDORSEMENT…
Joe Lombardo: 3-1
I’m guessing Lombardo, the current Clark County sheriff, is gonna swamp the field in the fundraising department when reports come out on January 15. He has a competent and professional campaign team in place and can boast of successfully managing a huge government entity as the head of Metro.
Conservative concerns about his stance on illegal immigration were dispelled recently, but he still faces lingering questions about his record on gun rights. Nevertheless, on the question of who has the best shot to knock out Sisolak — who’s bad on just about EVERY issue — Lombardo is right up there.
John Lee: 5-1
The current North Las Vegas mayor has a solid case to make when it comes to executive management experience and success, turning around Nevada’s 3rd (or 4th) largest city and saving it from bankruptcy under his leadership. But he still hasn’t adequately answered concerns about his party switch earlier this year.
Also, his rather tame communications and messaging haven’t exactly stirred the souls of conservative GOP grassroots activists. Still, his experience and success will weigh on the minds of primary voters looking for the strongest candidate who can win the general election when they cast their ballots next June.
Joey Gilbert: 7-1
By FAR, Gilbert’s legion of conservative supporters are the most energized and passionate of the entire GOP field. I think too many pundits and “experts” are underestimating his potential. Republicans are looking for fighters in the mold of Donald Trump.
Gilbert’s immediate challenge is in expanding his army beyond his home base in Reno and duplicating the movement in Las Vegas. But his long-term problem is going to be persuading not-so-ideological GOP primary voters that he can win the general election.
Guy Nohra: 10-1
This guy Guy (pronounced Ghee) could be a “sleeper” if the political winds shift and an opportunity presents itself. Although a political unknown and first-time candidate, he’s got a great American success story to tell, is extremely personable, independently wealthy, willing to self-fund his campaign, and has hired competent, political pros to
run his race.
In a number of ways his candidacy is similar to that of Glenn Youngkin, another outsider who came out of nowhere and pulled off a stunning upset in Virginia’s gubernatorial race last month. Still a longshot, but not as long as many think. Gonna need a lot of things to break his way though.
Dean Heller: 25-1
The former U.S. senator, congressman, secretary of state and state assemblyman is a career politician, ballot-box loser and
unreconstituted “Never Trumper.” But he still enjoys support and high name ID from his years in office, particularly in rural Nevada.
Some polls show him in the “top two” right now, but that ain’t gonna hold up. I expect him to fade fast down the stretch, if he even makes it out of the starting gate.
Michele Fiore: 50-1
The Las Vegas city councilwoman is definitely a fighter and conservative firebrand. Plenty of campaign trail experience. But
doubts linger about the breadth of support outside her northwest Las Vegas base. And extremely high negatives raise doubts about her ability to win in November.
Also, Gilbert has significantly eaten into the conservative base that otherwise would gravitate her way. She should have stuck with her original plan to run for lieutenant governor. Actually, it’s not too late to switch back.
Fred Simon: 100-1
Successful businessman. Campaign experience. Strong conservative. But no base of widespread support. If he wants to run for something, he should run for something else.
Tom Heck: 250-1
Nice guy. Strong conservative. But no base of widespread support. If he wants to run for something, he should run for something else.
Barak Zilberberg: 500-1
Sorry, but Republican primary voters ain’t gonna vote for a gubernatorial candidate named “Barak.” Might not be fair, but it is a reality. And there are just too many credible, viable alternatives. If he wants to run for something, he should run for something else.
(Disclaimer: Odds are published for entertainment purposes only. No wagering allowed — except for illegal side bets among friends or political adversaries.)
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Chuck Muth is president of Citizen Outreach, publisher of Nevada News & Views and blogs at MuthsTruths.com
By Chuck Muth