Way back on May 14, 2009, I wrote in Muth’s Truths that Nevada Republicans had the potential of fielding a “dream team” of top-tier candidates who could potentially lead the beleaguered party back from the political wilderness.
The team would include Rep. Dean Heller vs. Sen. Harry Reid, federal judge Brian Sandoval vs. Rory Reid for governor and former state Sen. Joe Heck vs. Dina Titus for Congress in District 3.
At the time folks said I was nuts.
No way, now how would Heller leave his safe congressional seat. No way, no how would Sandoval leave his lifetime appointment on the federal bench. And no way, no how would Joe Heck change his mind and run for a seat in Washington instead of Carson City.
Well, as we all know now, Heller was absolutely, positively ready to make a run at Reid….right up to the point where married U.S. Sen. John Ensign revealed to the world that he’d been boinking one of his married staffers, thereby relegating himself to political albatross status in such a race.
And as we all now know, Sandoval has resigned his position as a federal judge and is now an officially announced candidate for governor.
And as reported yesterday by the Nevada News Bureau, we now know that there’s a very good chance that Heck will switch gears this week and take on Titus after John Guedry withdrew from that race last Friday.
Although Heller’s out, a new entrant into the Reid race will likely fill out the GOP’s Dream Team roster later this week when Republican Party Chairman Sue Lowden hangs up her party boss jacket and officially becomes a candidate. Although Heller, as an incumbent member of Congress, would have been the best possibly candidate against the Senate Majority Leader, the contrast between Lowden and Reid is tailor-made. If she raises the money and puts together a first-rate campaign, she should win the GOP nomination in June and vanquish “Dingy Harry” in November.
Sandoval still has his work cut out for him in convincing conservative Republican primary voters that he’s conservative enough against incumbent Gov. Jim Gibbons and former North Las Vegas Mayor Mike Montandon. And Heck has his work cut out trying to take down Titus in a congressional district that has swung from leans-Republican to leans-strongly-Democrat over the last four years, and may still face a contested GOP primary as well.
But all three are doable.
(Note to GH and ST: While a Republican ticket headed by a photogenic Hispanic, an attractive woman with brains, and an Army doctor is electoral gold for the party; that is not to say this would be the same dream team for conservatives – nor should this column be considered an endorsement of any of the above-mentioned candidates.)
Now, since we all know dreams really do come true, let’s push our luck and suggest some additional “will never happen” scenarios featuring other high-profile, top-quality GOP candidates which would put the Republican Party in their best electoral position since 1998:
- Danny Tarkanian drops his U.S. Senate race and instead uses the good will he’s built up on the statewide Lincoln Day/rubber chicken circuit to run for Nevada GOP State Chairman in November. It’ll take a solid conservative with superior people skills to unite all the various GOP factions and get them running in the same direction. If Tark can pull it off, he can write his own ticket in a future election.
- Sharron Angle opts to withdraw from the U.S. Senate race and runs for her old state Assembly seat instead, and simultaneously assists other conservative Republicans running for Assembly seats in other key districts. Upon regaining her seat, Angle runs against and replaces Assemblywoman Heidi Gansert as Minority Leader and then proceeds to drive Senate Minority Leader Bill Raggio, Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford and Assembly Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick bonkers during the 2011 legislative session.
- Mark Amodei likewise switches from his U.S. Senate run and instead takes on and takes out Democrat Attorney General Catherine Cortez-Masto.
- John Chachas finally finds Nevada and actually moves here, then gives up his quest for Harry’s U.S. Senate seat and instead uses his Wall Street experience and expertise to run against and replace Democrat state Treasurer Kate Marshall.
- Mike Montandon, a Republican with a unique and proven ability to attract Democrat voters, opts out of the gubernatorial race and takes on Democrat Rep. Shelley Berkley, who might just be so occupied with visions of John Ensign’s Senate seat on her mind that she’ll never see Mayor Mike comin’.
- State Sen. Barbara Cegavske drops her re-election effort and instead runs for Secretary of State against Democrat legacy Ross Miller.
- Former state Sen. Bob Beers gives up enjoying life and making tanker trucks of money and runs for state Controller where he’d put the state’s checkbook online for all of us to see and issue weekly Pork Reports on wasteful government spending.
- Jim Gibbons retires, puts his personal life back together, and lives happily ever after as a highly-paid DC and Carson City lobbyist for R&R Partners.
- John Ensign keeps his fly zipped and stays out of sight, out of mind, and out of the way.
- Mike Wiley crawls back under his rock.
Dream weaver, weave me a dream. If only someone had a smoke-filled back room we could borrow.