* Sen. Pete Goicoechea (District 19-Elko/rurals) faces a conservative challenge this year – but not in the GOP primary.
Instead, he will go head-to-head against conservative Independent American Party (IAP) challenger Janine Hansen in the general election since no Democrat filed in this race. Goicoechea has to be favored, but in this “angry voter” election – especially angry conservatives – who knows?
In any event, it’s good to have Pete challenged from the “right.”
* In Senate District 5 (Clark), Republicans have fielded a very strong candidate to challenge incumbent Democrat Sen. Joyce Woodhouse. Carrie Buck is a highly-regarded public charter school principal and will give Woodhouse fits.
This is the only possible pick-up seat for Republicans who are trying to hold onto their razor-thin 11-10 majority. Alas, it’s not a race that’s generated a lot of enthusiasm among conservatives for a couple of reasons.
First, Buck has chosen not to sign the Taxpayer Protection Pledge – and we all know what THAT means! Secondly, she’s also a product of the government-controlled public school system and has expressed some troubling thoughts on home-schooling.
One hopes Dr. Buck supports the new Education Savings Accounts, but I have concerns since ESA’s are often seen as a threat to charter schools like the one she runs. Buck would surely be better than Woodhouse on a host of other issues, but on the key issues of taxes, spending and education reform, I’m worried.
* In Assembly District 4, currently represented by Assemblywoman Michele Fiore, Melissa Laughter (a rather inconvenient name for a politician) filed to run as a Democrat.
What’s interesting is that Laughter – suspected of being a GOP establishment stalking horse – ran against Fiore as a Republican in the 2014 GOP primary.
Also interesting in this race to replace Fiore – who’s running for Congress this year – is that former Assemblyman Richard McArthur, who represented this district before Fiore, is running for his old seat.
McArthur, a Tax Pledge signer, had a solid conservative voting record in office. As such, the GOP establishment – headed by Majority Leader Anderson in the Assembly – has put a Republican challenger in this race against McArthur; some political unknown named Kenneth Rezendes.
So even though no incumbent is involved, this primary is still an Establishment vs. Conservative match-up.
* Ditto in District 35, currently represented by conservative Assemblyman Brent Jones.
Anderson & Company have recruited a cupcake baker with the same last name (though no relation), Tiffany Jones, to try to take the incumbent out.
Also interesting is that a fellow conservative and GOP grassroots activist, Tom Blanchard, filed in this primary. As Blanchard and Jones (Brent, not Tif) are cut from the same conservative cloth, one cannot help but suspect there’s some personality factor involved in this head-scratcher challenge.
* In Assembly District 8 (Clark), conservative incumbent John Moore switched parties and will be running for re-election as a Libertarian rather than a Republican.
The move makes a certain amount of sense since Moore has been given no chance of holding the seat against the former assemblyman he knocked off in the “red wave” election of 2014, Jason Frierson. With an overwhelming Democrat majority in the district, Moore would have gotten zero financial support from Republicans, so the promise of some Libertarian manna from heaven had to have been attractive.
More? OK, keep reading… (click the “NEXT” button below)