Amodei won’t run for Attorney General |

Amodei won’t run for Attorney General

Mark Amodei announced Monday he wants to keep the title of state senator another four years rather than run for attorney general.

The Carson City Republican said he was flattered by the variety of business, rural and other interests who encouraged him to run for the Nevada Attorney General’s seat but believes he can be more effective as a member of the Senate.

His decision deals another blow to the Republican Party which, a year ago, saw the Attorney General’s Office as the only safe constitutional office this election cycle since it was occupied by a popular first-term incumbent, Brian Sandoval.

All the other constitutional officers are “termed out” and unable to run again.

When Sandoval was appointed a federal judge, Gov. Kenny Guinn named Las Vegas corporate lawyer George Chanos and he, almost immediately, announced plans to run.

Chanos had already raised more than $1 million – triple the amount his Democratic opponent Catherine Cortez Masto reported – and was regarded as front-runner when he announced earlier this month he was pulling out of the race.

Amodei, 47, was touted within the party as the most electable of the other possible choices. He is a two-term senator who serves as President Pro Tempore of the Senate – which means he wields the gavel from the podium when the lieutenant governor isn’t there – and as chairman of the Judiciary Committee. He also is chairman of three interim committees: The study of Nevada’s Public Employee Benefits Program, TRPA-Marlette Lake oversight committee and the Water Resources Study.

“If the voters re-elect me in November, I’ve decided I can be more effective by continuing to serve our state as a member of the Nevada Senate and will consider my further political options after the 2009 Legislature,” he said. “I happen to like being in the Legislature and like working with most of those other 62 people. At this point in time, I think I’m in a position to make a difference in some things and I’d like to have a shot at finishing that up.”

He mentioned the water study and reforms of the employee benefits program as some of his priorities.

At this point, Amodei has no announced opposition for his third term.

Others being discussed as possible candidates for attorney general include Las Vegas lawyer Stan Parry, Board of Regents Chairman Bret Whipple and Chief Deputy Attorney General Gerald Gardner.

Chanos has said he will help potential candidates and the party work out who best to carry the GOP banner and encourage his former donors to transfer their contributions to that person. But since he plans to stay in office until after the election, the Republican candidate won’t have the advantage of running as the “incumbent.”

• Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at or 687-8750.