As predicted, the conservative candidates in the high-profile races yesterday came up short and, as predicted, Nevada’s #2 liberal blogger, Jon Ralston, was crowing with glee about a supposed “conservative massacre.”
Of course, Ralston’s depth of thinking is approximately that of a parking lot puddle. He thinks short-term; conservatives here are building for the long term. And last night was anything but a “massacre” for conservatives in Nevada. Here’s the real story that Ralston and the GOP establishment don’t want told…
Mark Hutchison, the Million Dollar Man, got just a little over 50% of the vote for lieutenant governor despite enjoying the full backing of a Republican governor who himself got some 90% of the vote in a contested primary. How does winning a race you were expected to win that shouldn’t have even been close count as a major win?
On the other hand, Ron Knecht, conservative Tax Pledge signing candidate for Controller, won the only other GOP primary for a statewide office. So conservatives batted .500 there. Not a bad average.
Conservative Tax Pledge signer Annette Teijeiro won the GOP primary for CD1.
The four moderates who ran as conservatives in the four contested GOP state senate primaries won. Did I mention that all four moderates ran as conservatives? Oh, and VASTLY outspent their conservative opponents?
Indeed, running as conservatives, the establishment GOP pretty much won all the races they should have won. Big whoop.
Meanwhile, conservative Assemblyman and Tax Pledge signer John Hambrick won his primary handily.
As did conservative Assemblywoman and Tax Pledge signer Michele Fiore.
As did the conservative who Ralston and the GOP establishment love to hate and ridicule the most, Assemblyman and Tax Pledge signer Jim Wheeler!
Conservative Tax Pledge signer Lisa Krasner held moderate incumbent Assemblyman Randy “Kirner Tax” Kirner to under 50% in a multi-candidate GOP primary and will face him one-on-one again in the general election since no Democrat or third-party candidates filed in this race.
Indeed, if the two conservative candidates hadn’t split the conservative vote in this race, Kirner would have been toast. And there’s a chance he still might lose in November.
HUGE upset in Assembly District 31 in Washoe County, where Assembly Minority Leader Pat Hickey’s hand-picked moderate candidate, Sparks City Councilman Ron Schmitt – who was also endorsed by Gov. Sandoval and the rest of the establishment elite – lost to conservative Tax Pledge signer Jill Dickman, who was VASTLY outspent (but not outworked!).
And another HUGE conservative victory in rural Assembly District 38 where another of Hickey’s hand-picked moderate candidates lost to conservative Tax Pledge signer Dr. Robin Titus.
Conservative Tax Pledge signer Brent Jones won the Assembly District 35 GOP primary.
Former Clark County GOP Chairman Richard Scotti made it to the general election for District Judge in District 8, Department 2.
Judge Susan Johnson stomped her opponent, who played the “race card” against another judge a week ago, in the District 8, Department 22 race. (Judge Johnson is also a FINE JUDGE of good wine!)
Joe Scalia moved onto the general election in the District Court, Family Division, Department B race.
Conservative newcomer Ralph Krauss is going to the general election against Clark County School Board trustee Carolyn Edwards.
And last, but certainly not least, former Clark County GOP Chairman Cindy Lake won her primary race for Clark County Commission District G.
So now the pressure’s on the establishment folks…
Sandoval & Company got the candidate they hand-picked for lieutenant governor. They have no excuse if they lose to the former gang-banger in November.
And Senate Minority Leader Moderate Mike Roberson won his primary and got the candidates he hand-picked for the two contested seats that will determine which party controls the upper house in next year’s Legislature, so he, too, will have no excuse if he blows it.
As for Assembly Minority Leader Pat Hickey – well, he’s hopeless.
Hickey didn’t support Fiore, and she won. He tried to kill Wheeler, politically speaking, and Wheeler won. His “yes man” Kirner, didn’t win the GOP primary outright and now has to face a general election run-off. He recruited a candidate against Titus, and Titus won. He recruited a candidate against Dickman, and Dickman won.
Yeah, I think we know who the biggest loser of the night was…and it sure wasn’t conservatives.
Look, the only reason conservatives didn’t have a much bigger night was the money and power the establishment brought to bear under the wings of a moderate, though extremely popular, Republican governor – who, by the way, won’t be running for governor again in 2016.
The establishment candidates ran as conservatives, lied about their own records and positions on issues, and lied about their opponents’ records and positions. Yes, a win is a win. But talk about winning ugly!
And something tells me a lot of the moderates who dodged bullets on Tuesday who go on to win in November won’t be voting so much like Democrats in Carson City next year. Moderates have been warned and put on notice. Those who don’t learn from this year’s lesson will just be primary bait again next cycle.
And next cycle, they just might not be so lucky.
As I wrote previously, the 2014 GOP primaries weren’t the end of the conservative/tea party/liberty movement in Nevada no matter what happened at the ballot box. This was a building year. It was just the beginning. To quote a certain former conservative U.S. president, you ain’t seen nuthin’ yet.