Several lower-profile races in one swing state will reverberate for years to come. While the down-ballot statewide campaigns aren’t always carefully watched, Nevada’s future is on the ballot in its lieutenant governor and attorney general races this year, and everyone involved could be a bigger name sooner rather than later.
— The LG race is a full-tilt affair between the most powerful Democrat and the most powerful Republican in the state — oh, and also between the candidates actually running. Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) has anointed state Sen. Mark Hutchison (R) in a primary as his choice for the No. 2 slot, while Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D) has blessed Assemblywoman Lucy Flores (D) with fundraising and organizational help.
— The most intriguing bit of thinking behind this proxy battle: A Democratic LG could act as prophylaxis against Sandoval potentially challenging Reid in 2016. But it would also fast-track a Latina to the statewide level, something Democrats want more of all over the country, especially in places like Nevada where they rely so heavily on Hispanic voters.
— Meanwhile, two of Nevada’s storied political families will clash in the attorney general race, which looks like a classic stepping-stone to higher office for either of them. Secretary of State Ross Miller (D), the son of a former governor, will face Adam Laxalt (R), grandson of a former senator. As Nevada politcal guru Jon Ralston has pointed out, big money is flowing into the race, and not only into the candidates’ campaign accounts — a GOP nonprofit already spent $500,000 blasting Miller on TV in May.
Kate Marshall (D), seeking to move from state treasurer to secretary of state and who lost the NV-02 special in 2011, is a favorite of EMILY’s List and another one to watch. More than many other states, Nevada’s political future is in play up and down its ballot this year.
— Scott Bland
What We're Following See More »
Paul Ryan told CNN today he's "not ready" to back Donald Trump at this time. "I'm not there right now," he said. Ryan said Trump needs to unify "all wings of the Republican Party and the conservative movement" and then run a campaign that will allow Americans to "have something that they're proud to support and proud to be a part of. And we've got a ways to go from here to there."
In The New Yorker, Jeffrey Toobin gives Preet Bharara, the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York, the longread treatment. The scourge of corrupt New York pols, bad actors on Wall Street, and New York gang members, Bharara learned at the foot of Chuck Schumer, the famously limelight-hogging senator whom he served as a member of the Senate Judiciary Committee staff. No surprise then, that after President Obama appointed him, Bharara "brought a media-friendly approach to what has historically been a closed and guarded institution. In professional background, Bharara resembles his predecessors; in style, he’s very different. His personality reflects his dual life in New York’s political and legal firmament. A longtime prosecutor, he sometimes acts like a budding pol; his rhetoric leans more toward the wisecrack than toward the jeremiad. He expresses himself in the orderly paragraphs of a former high-school debater, but with deft comic timing and a gift for shtick."
President Obama has announced another round of commutations of prison sentences. Most of the 58 individuals named are incarcerated for possessions with intent to distribute controlled substances. The prisoners will be released between later this year and 2018.
The Daily Beast has unearthed a piece that Donald Trump wrote for Gear magazine in 2000, which anticipates his 2016 sales pitch quite well. "Perhaps it's time for a dealmaker who can get the leaders of Congress to the table, forge consensus, and strike compromise," he writes. Oddly, he opens by defending his reputation as a womanizer: "The hypocrites argue that a man who loves and appreciates beautiful women (and does so legally and openly) shouldn't become a national leader? Is there something wrong with appreciating beautiful women? Don't we want people in public office who show signs of life?"