Although it will again be impossible for the GOP to gain a Republican majority in the state Assembly next year, the developing conservative uprising in Nevada — what I’ve been referring to as “Conservageddon” — could result in a new (and desperately needed) conservative majority in the Republican Assembly caucus.
Indeed, Nevada tea party and liberty movement conservatives are really starting to flex their political muscles and could have a ginormous effect at the ballot box next year.
The following conservative and conservative-leaning GOP incumbents are likely to hold onto their seats: Assemblywoman Michele Fiore and Assemblymen John Ellison, Ira Hansen, James Oscarson, Wes Duncan, Pete Livermore and John Hambrick. It also looks like Assemblyman Jim Wheeler has successfully weathered his recent “macaca” moment and is in position to hold onto his seat, as well. So that makes eight.
In District 38, moderate Assemblyman Tom Grady is likely to be replaced by conservative Robin Titus. That’s nine.
Establishment moderate Assemblyman Randy Kirner has drawn two conservative opponents — Lisa Krasner and Robb Archie. That could be 10.
In Clark County, Assemblyman Cresent Hardy is running for Congress, and word on the street is that moderate Assemblywoman Melissa Woodbury will not run for re-election. Both are solid GOP seats that could and should go to solid conservative candidates. That would make 12.
In District 22, the most liberal incumbent Republican assemblyman, Lynn Stewart, will face liberty movement leader Richard Bunce in the primary. That would make 13.
In District 29, it appears Amy Groves, a solid, pro-business conservative, will make a strong run in this competitive swing district. That could make 14.
In District 31, if conservative Jill Dickman wins her GOP primary race against Bob Larkin, an establishment GOP tax-lover, she’ll have an excellent chance to unseat Democrat incumbent Assemblyman Skip Daly in this Republican-majority district.
That would make 15 — a solid conservative bloc that would have the power to stop any and all efforts to increase taxes, including yet another extension of those “temporary” sunsets that Gov. Brian Sandoval loves so much. Remember then-Assemblyman Bob Beers’ “Lean 15” from 2003?
But here’s the potential coup de grace; in District 25, moderate establishment Minority Leader Pat Hickey has drawn a serious conservative opponent in the primary. If Hickey goes down in flames to Rick Fineberg, we could end up with a true conservative opposition leader, as well.
Of course, a lot of things will need to break the GOP’s way in November (hello, Obamacare train wreck!) and Republicans will have to overcome their propensity for never blowing an opportunity to blow an opportunity. But the opportunities are definitely there.
So let it be written; so let it be done.
Chuck Muth is president of Citizen Outreach, a conservative grass-roots advocacy organization. He can be reached at www.muthstruths.com.