Nevada’s Governor Brian Sandoval says he won’t run for Senator Harry Reid senate seat, ending questions about whether he would or wouldn’t enter. Sandoval was re-elected in November with 71 percent of the vote and considered a favorite to run.
“I have said many times that it is an honor and a privilege to serve as Nevada’s Chief Executive and that I love my job,” he said in a statement, adding, ”For these reasons, I will not seek the United States Senate seat that will be available in 2016.”
Former Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto announced her candidacy while Congress Dina Titus said she would not run. Meanwhile Congressman Joe Heck is thinking about making a bid and Las Vegas City Councilman Bob Beers has already decided to enter race.
In March, Reid said he wouldn’t seek a sixth term following a ‘supposed’ exercise injury that left him blind in one eye. He’s backing Cortez Masto as his successor.
“We have a winner in Catherine Cortez Masto,” Reid told reporters. “She’s a wonderful longtime Nevadan and in fact lifetime Nevadan, and it doesn’t matter who runs against her she’s going to be just fine.”
Sandoval announced a $1.1 billion tax plan in January along with other tax-laden bills for education. Eventually, the Nevada Assembly approved his plan.
This package includes $400 million for the general fund in so-called “sunset” taxes, first enacted in 2009 and originally set to expire in 2011, but since extended twice as well as another $376 million for education, created by an increase in the state’s sales tax rate. The bill is also expected to raise $200 million from a dollar increase on cigarette taxes and about $500 million in higher payroll taxes, corporate business license fees and gross receipt business taxes.
Sandoval’s been mentioned as a possible vice presidential candidate for former Florida Governor and unannounced presidential candidate Jeb Bush. The former governor said in a recent trip to Reno that it was much too soon to talk about potential running mates.
He had breakfast with Bush in Carson City in May. Bush later told reporters that he’s a “big Brian Sandoval fan.”
Sandoval claims Bush approached him, saying he wanted to discuss issues important to Nevada. Oddly, Sandoval’s hand-picked lieutenant governor, Mark Hutchison is running Florida Senator Marco Rubio’s campaign in Nevada.
Bush is expected to make his candidacy official during a June 15 speech at Miami-Dade College in Florida.