Jim Gibbons deserves to be returned to Congress for a third term because he accurately reflects the views of his Nevada constituents and has done significant work on their behalf in Washington, D.C.
Gibbons is a shoo-in for re-election, because his Democratic opponent, 30-year-old Travis Souza of Reno, is a political neophyte whose campaign got started late and is woefully underfunded to compete with an incumbent of the stature of Gibbons.
But that doesn't mean we shouldn't, first, thank Souza for putting his name on the ballot and offering himself as a Democratic alternative. Everybody has to start somewhere.
It also doesn't mean we should ignore the service Gibbons has provided to his sprawling district, made only slightly less sprawling by the addition this election of a third Congressional district in Southern Nevada.
Gibbons, a Vietnam and Gulf War veteran, serves on Armed Services and Veterans Affairs committees and is a member of the Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence.
These have put him in the middle of the action on homeland security, the war on terrorism and the unsettled morass of MidEast politics. He has played a central role in reorganization of U.S. intelligence forces to improve cross-departmental communication and cooperation.
As a commercial airline pilot, the Reno resident also has taken a keen interest in airport security. His expertise there on issues such as cockpit security has been especially valuable since Sept. 11.
For Nevada, Gibbons has worked to obtain federal funds to restore Lake Tahoe and has been, on most issues, a partner with other members of the state's delegation in attempting to resolve state-federal problems.
The potential Achilles heel for any Republican candidate in Nevada is the question of nuclear-waste storage at Yucca Mountain, which was given the green light by the Bush administration. But Gibbons has not wavered in his opposition to the storage plan, nor backed off from his concern over the dangers of transporting the waste.
Gibbons is doing the job Nevadans elected him to do. Voters should allow him to keep it.