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The Sandoval Snub

The Nevada Republican Party is moving forward with a new pre-primary endorsement process for this year’s elections.

New to the party, that is.  Gov. Brian Sandoval (R&R-Partners) and Senate Minority Leader “Moderate Mike” Roberson (R-Monte Miller) have been endorsing/anointing candidates in GOP primaries for months now.

But yesterday, Sandoval and Roberson – as well as Assembly Minority Leader Pat Hickey – blew off the party’s Central Committee members and announced they couldn’t care less if the party endorses them or not and, as such will not participate in the primary endorsement process.

Why not?

They hemmed and hawed and spun it every which way but loose, but the bottom line is that their voting records suck so badly they know darned well they could be rejected by the party regulars…even if they were running unopposed!

I mean, how embarrassing is that?

Of course, liberal blogger Jon Ralston has the GOP establishment’s back on this and thoroughly ridiculed the pre-primary endorsement process.  But here’s the thing…

The average Republican primary voter doesn’t read Jon Ralston’s blog.  And most of the few who do, do so for comic relief.  They really couldn’t care less what Jon Ralston thinks about the Nevada Republican Party.

On the other hand, no matter how much Ralston dumps on the party and the party’s pre-primary endorsements; and no matter how hard the establishment Republicans try to undermine the value of the endorsements…

The average Republican primary voter could very well be positively influenced by mailers from endorsed GOP candidates who are able to tout the OFFICIAL party endorsement of the Nevada Republican Party.

No matter what Ralston and the establishment Republicans say, they know deep down in their hearts that the OFFICIAL endorsement by the Nevada Republican Party could be a deciding factor in a close primary race.

And for a little historical reminder on just how close a race can be and how any slight advantage like a party endorsement could be decisive, longtime Clark County Republicans will recall the 1996 Republican primary race between Ann DiMartini and Jeff Knight.

I don’t remember all of the exact details surrounding that race, but here’s what I wrote about it in 2006…

In 1996, a comedy of errors caused three elections to be held in the Assembly 1 Republican primary race,” (Las Vegas Review-Journal reporter Jane Ann) Morrison reminded us.  “When it was all over, the winner — Jeff Knight beat out Anne DiMartini — then lost to Democrat Tom Collins. But in the Sept. 3 primary, DiMartini lost by six votes, and auditors discovered that 13 Democrats had voted in the GOP race by mistake, creating the need for the first special election. The second election was marred when the vote came out 688 to 687 and election officials realized one person who didn’t live in the district had voted.”

So laugh all you want Ralston and GOP Establishmentarians.  But don’t be surprised if the Nevada GOP’s “Good Housekeeping Seal of Approval” results in some of your anointed Gumby Republican candidates being jettisoned in June by the very Republican voters you are presently showing such disdain for.

In rejecting the invitation to request the Nevada GOP’s official endorsement, Gov. Brian Sandoval (R&R-Partners) said, “I think that the committee can look at my record over the past three years and through the Legislature and be able to answer any question with regard to my position as governor.”

Yeah!  And that’s the problem.

From a Republican point of view, Sandoval’s record – from tax hikes to implementing ObamaCare to giving drivers license to persons in the country illegally – sucks.  He’s not seeking the party’s endorsement because he knows there’s every chance, with his lousy record, that he just might not get it!

Meanwhile, after Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval (R&R-Partners) announced that he was blowing off the Nevada GOP’s new endorsement process, his handler, Mike Slanker, attempted mightily to pooh-pooh the whole thing.

“Last time I checked, there is already a GOP endorsement process,” Slanker told the Washington Post’s Reid Wilson. “It’s called a primary, where all Republicans have a voice.”

Of course, that statement makes Slanker look like a complete boob since his candidate, Sandoval, has been endorsing candidates in GOP primaries for more than six months now.

So, um, why is it OK for Sandoval to endorse candidates rather than let “all Republicans have a voice” but not the Nevada Republican Central Committee, whose members are elected to give voice to Republican voters precinct by precinct?

What a hypocrite.