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
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In a unanimous decision, "the Supreme Court on Tuesday said it violates insider-trading laws for a corporate officer to make a “gift” of insider information to a relative, a decision that makes it easier for those who police Wall Street to bring prosecutions."
House Speaker Paul Ryan has decreed that House members "won’t receive their committee assignments until January — after they cast a public vote on the House floor for speaker. "The move has sparked behind-the-scenes grumbling from a handful of Ryan critics, who say the delay allows him and the Speaker-aligned Steering Committee to dole out committee assignments based on political loyalty rather than merit or expertise." The roll call to elect the speaker is set for Jan. 3, the first vote of the new Congress.
House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy told reporters on Monday that the government funding bill will be released on Tuesday. The bill is the last piece of legislation Congress needs to pass before leaving for the year and is expected to fund the government through the spring. The exact time date the bill would fund the government through is unclear, though it is expected to be in April or May.
As has been rumored for a week, Donald Trump will nominate Ben Carson, his former rival, to lead the Department of Housing and Urban Development. In a statement, Trump said, "We have talked at length about my urban renewal agenda and our message of economic revival, very much including our inner cities. Ben shares my optimism about the future of our country and is part of ensuring that this is a Presidency representing all Americans. He is a tough competitor and never gives up."