Get Out The Way…Sandoval is Coming

The Nevada GOP’s “night in shining armor” emerged this week as news broke that former Attorney General and sitting Federal Judge Brian Sandoval is resigning his Judgeship! Just as commentators like myself were starting to get discouraged about Republican prospects for 2010, Sandoval changes the landscape.

There is so much that’s exciting and intriguing about this news of Sandoval leaving his Federal Judgeship. First, he received a lifetime appointment to a Federal Judgeship–yes, LIFETIME…now he’s resigning! This is one of those jobs that you just don’t leave–it has a handsome paycheck, great benefits, and it’s one of the most coveted positions in all the legal world. Sandoval was also one of the youngest sitting Federal Judges, highly respected by his colleagues, and all who interact with the court. Now this bodes the question, why is Sandoval leaving the court?

Speculation in political circles is one of those things that can really disappoint a person. Latest example, Congressman Dean Heller turning down the chance to take-on Senator Harry Reid. There were so many folks that thought Heller would surely run against Reid considering the Senator’s low polling numbers and Heller’s ability to raise a significant amount of money to mount a credible challenge. The reality is that Heller has decided to play it safe and remain in Congress–he’s effective and represents Nevada well, so it is not a total loss for the GOP.

Welcome back to the political scene Brian Sandoval…the Democrats worst nightmare! I met Sandoval for the first time in 1999, and was immediately impressed with his calm demeanor. Sandoval is one of those guys in politics that can really inspire others to a cause much greater than themselves. Sandoval is articulate, intelligent, experienced, and most of us he’s likeable! There are not very many people in this world that can say at the age of 35 they became the youngest ever Chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission, then years later became Attorney General, and now a sitting Federal Judge. I don’t know anyone who looks forward to going up against that kind of resume.

Sandoval’s emergence back into GOP politics means much more than just the fact that he can get elected. For the past couple years, Republicans in Nevada have not been united–as I’ve written about in the past, there is so much in-fighting that Republicans have been shooting themselves in the foot. With someone like Sandoval on the ballot, many of the competing factions in the GOP would be able to come together and rally behind him. Not discounting the fact that having a highly qualified Hispanic candidate on a statewide ballot in Nevada would be a HUGE plus for the party!

I don’t know anyone that is certain Sandoval is running for Governor, but in GOP circles it does appear that’s most likely his next move. Should this be the case, we would be looking at a primary battle that will for the most part shake out in Clark County. Sandoval is very popular in northern Nevada, and the currently announced Republican candidates would have to hope for a win in southern Nevada to emerge from the primary victorious. One final fact that Sandoval has going for him, is that he’s already won a statewide office–something the other GOP candidates can’t claim. All of a sudden 2010 has become very exciting for Republicans in Nevada–everyone, Get Out of the Way…Sandoval is Coming!

Saturday, August 15th, 2009 Politics

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