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My Brush with Tark the Shark

On this sad day of Jerry Tarkanian’s passing, I remember the first time I met him.

It was in early 1995.  I was the new Clark County Republican Party chairman.  And Jerry was thinking of running for mayor of Las Vegas after UNLV cut him loose as its basketball coach.

Someone arranged for me to have dinner with him at the restaurant his son, Danny Tarkanian, co-owned at the time somewhere off West Spring Mountain.

What a treat as a newbie politico to have dinner with one of the greatest college basketball coaches of all time and discuss his possible candidacy as a Republican for mayor!

Of course, he wisely opted not to pursue a new career in politics and went on to continue his basketball career in greener pastures.

One side note: After our dinner, a young Democrat with political aspirations joined the Coach and I for desert and an after-dinner drink…

Dario Herrera.

And the rest is history.  What a night.

R.I.P., Coach.