State Treasurer Dan Schwartz (R) is “planning to form an exploratory committee to test the waters on a governor bid and is taking comfort in his internal poll findings.”
A poll “conducted by Democratic campaign consultant Doug Schoen” for Schwartz (June 7-20; 600 Nevadans) found state Attorney General Adam Laxalt (R) narrowly leading Schwartz 34-30% in a hypothetical primary matchup.
“He said he’d be able to put up half a million toward his gubernatorial campaign if he chooses to pursue it.”
Schwartz of Laxalt: “He’s a good guy but I have some issues with his philosophy. He’s young. He doesn’t have any economic or financial experience. … He wants to be alt right. He’s sort of throwing red meat to that wing of the party. … I don’t know what Adam’s message is. Adam’s message is ‘I’m a conservative.’ Well so am I. But can you govern? I just haven’t seen that. … Adam has really devoted himself to federal issues and there’s nothing wrong with that, but I’m really focused on what’s happening in Nevada.”
“Schwartz said he’s most concerned about his ability to beat fellow former businessman and current Clark County Commission Chairman Steve Sisolak (D). … In a matchup with Sisolak, … Schwartz said he would play up his opposition to the Las Vegas NFL stadium Sisolak has championed.”
Schwartz “rattled off a list of goals he’d have if he wins the governor’s seat in 2018, including promoting drones, solar energy and an admittedly ‘pie in the sky’ plan to install high-speed rail between Reno and Las Vegas. He’s critical of Democrats for passing on his proposal to rein in payday lenders, and he’s critical of” Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) “for not cutting a deal with Democratic lawmakers this session that would revive the ESA program. … On health care, he demurred about whether Nevada’s Medicaid expansion was a good idea and said he hadn’t read the Senate’s Obamacare replacement bill.” (Nevada Independent)
TWO PRIMARY CHALLENGES? Clark County Commission Vice Chair Chris Giunchigliani (D) confirmed on Tuesday that she is “looking into running” for governor. (Hotline reporting)
A “Facebook fan page urging Giunchigliani to run for governor … sprouted” shortly after she declared her “serious” interest last week.
“Sisolak formally entered the governor’s race Thursday with promises to bring a common-sense approach to the office. … Sisolak said he spoke to Sandoval … on Thursday morning.”
Sisolak: “He’s done an incredible job. … if I’m fortunate enough to get elected, I would like to continue a lot of what he’s done. Through his popularity, he has shown that the no-nonsense, common-sense approach — and being kind of in the middle — has served him well and served the state well.” (Nevada Independent)
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"The Trump administration has ended Operation Choke Point, the anti-fraud initiative started under the Obama administration that many Republicans argued was used to target gun retailers and other businesses that Democrats found objectionable. Assistant Attorney General Stephen Boyd told GOP representatives in a Wednesday letter that the long-running program had ended, bringing a conclusion to a chapter in the Obama years that long provoked and angered conservatives who saw Choke Point as an extra-legal crackdown on politically disfavored groups."
"Liberal groups are raising questions about a speaking appearance Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch plans to make next month at the Trump International Hotel in Washington. Gorsuch is scheduled to headline a luncheon celebrating the 50th anniversary of conservative group The Fund for American Studies on September 28, days before the next SCOTUS term begins October 2. Steve Slattery, a spokesman for The Fund for American Studies, said Gorsuch had nothing to do with venue choice, which was made long before the group asked Gorsuch to speak."
"The Trump administration has lost a handful of individuals serving in top cybersecurity roles across the federal government in recent weeks, even as it has struggled to fill high-ranking IT positions. The developments present hurdles for the new administration and speak to the longstanding challenge the federal government faces in competing with the private sector for top tech talent." Among those resigning is Richard Staropoli, "a former U.S. Secret Service agent who served as chief information officer (CIO) of the Department of Homeland Security for just three months," and Dave DeVries, the CIO at OPM. Separately, the White House announced today that President Trump has directed that United States Cyber Command be elevated to the status of a Unified Combatant Command focused on cyberspace operations.