(Frank Ricotta) – On Friday Nevada Senate Minority Leader William Raggio chose to abandon the party that has for so long supported his political career and given him the extraordinary leadership opportunities he has enjoyed for many decades. In a statement to the public, he announced that he was endorsing the Democratic candidate for United States Senate.
Mr. Raggio’s behavior is outrageous and an insult to the hundreds of thousands of Nevada Republicans who have relied on him to responsibly exercise the key leadership position it has been his honor to hold. He has allowed his personal bitterness to cloud his judgment and preventing him from maintaining statesmanlike equanimity.
The Clark County Republican Party is firmly supporting all the candidates for office chosen by our voters in the primary election, regardless of where they sit in the political matrix. At this critical juncture, the endorsement of Harry Reid is a statement of Raggio’s embrace of the Obama/Reid/Pelosi socialist agenda. When we consider things like cap and trade and Obamacare, issues that a majority of Nevada voters (and a majority of Nevada Republicans) are clearly against, it is disappointing to see someone in a leadership position in the Republican Party embrace this agenda.
Neither I nor any other leader in the Republican Party should be so arrogant as to defy the will of the voters and still retain an office of trust and responsibility in the Republican Party.
Mr. Raggio could have chosen to withhold his support from any candidate he didn’t feel worthy of it. But that is a far cry from actively supporting, not just another candidate, but the nominated candidate of another party.
If his attempt is to bolster the Democratic candidate, he is sorely mistaken. Not only are Nevadan voters fed up with the tired and discredited policies of decades of radical left-wing politicians, Bill Raggio has seriously overestimated his own influence with the people of Nevada. Our citizens know him as the voice of closed-door politics, someone who already is rapidly fading into the footnotes of our state’s history.
I call on every Republican state senatorial candidate in Clark County to publically pledge not to reelect Bill Raggio as the Senate Majority (or Minority) Leader. I am also asking my fellow county party chairs to call on their own senatorial candidates to do the same. The Republican Party belongs to Republicans; it is not the personal fiefdom of an out-of-touch politician.
The general election is only weeks away, and all of Clark County is resolutely behind Sharon Angle, the next United States Senator from the Great State of Nevada.
(Mr. Ricotta is Chairman of the Clark County Republican Party)