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Wheeler the Rock Star

If the reception he received at the Washoe County GOP dinner in Reno is any indication, rumors of conservative Assemblyman Jim Wheeler’s (R-Northern Nevada) political death have been wildly exaggerated. From a report by Ray Hagar of the Reno Gazette-Journal…

The best part of the Washoe County Republican annual dinner Monday was when various GOP candidates stood in line and one by one, introduced themselves to the crowd.

Embattled Assemblyman Jim Wheeler, R-Minden, got a rock star ovation. Or in this case, a Johnny Cash-like ovation.

Wheeler has been vilified locally and nationally for his “slavery” comments, when he said he’d vote for slavery if that is what his constituents wanted and they held a gun to his head.

But with this crowd, his tribulations seemingly increased his popularity, even if privately, some told me his comments make Nevada Republicans look stupid.

After Wheeler said, “Good evening, I’m the infamous assemblyman from District 39,” the crowd roared. He got a bigger ovation that Lt. Gov. candidate Sue Lowden and hers was pretty big.

Wheeler then referred to an earlier comment from candidate Jill Dickman, who is running as a Republican in Sparks’ District 31. That’s the district of incumbent Skip Daly, D-Hey, bring it, Jill.

“As Jill said, we get kind of tired with people running on a platform (of conservatism) and then changing their votes when they get up there (to Legislature in Carson City),” Wheeler said. “I think my record shows that I stayed conservative. And I’m not a politician, as you can tell by some of my really dumb statements.”

Good news for Wheeler, but let me give special credit to Ray Hagar here. He’s the only reporter I’ve seen so far who put the entire Wheeler comment about slavery into proper context by noting that Wheeler said he’d only vote for it with a gun to his head.

As I’ve noted again and again, there are a lot of horrific things each and every one of us would do with a gun to our heads. Hell, I’d even vote to re-elect Michael Roberson!

Good, professional job, Ray.