Controller may not get support for Congress
RENO – State Controller Kathy Augustine’s political career probably is over after she became the first official in Nevada’s 140-year history to be impeached and convicted in the state Legislature, some fellow Republicans said.
“I think it is over for her, I really do,” veteran Assemblyman John Marvel, R-Battle Mountain, said. “It’s a matter of public confidence. I know I could never support her now for congresswoman.”
Augustine will be allowed to finish the remaining two years on her second term after the Nevada Senate on Saturday convicted her of using state equipment for her 2002 re-election campaign.
At the same time, the Senate dismissed two other counts that could have led to her removal from office and instead simply censured her.
Augustine later said she didn’t think her political career was at an end, and wouldn’t rule out a run for another office in two years, including a seat in Congress.
“That possibility always exists,” she said.
But other Republicans disagreed, saying Augustine upset GOP leaders when she turned down a request by Gov. Kenny Guinn to resign rather than become involved in a costly impeachment process.
Before the proceedings, Augustine had been mentioned as a possible replacement for Rep. Jim Gibbons, R-Nev., who’s considering a race for governor in 2006.
If Augustine seeks that seat, Gibbons’ wife, former Assemblywoman Dawn Gibbons, R-Reno, said she would run against Augustine to stop her from winning.
“If she does that, she is going to run against me then,” Dawn Gibbons told a Reno newspaper. “If Jim goes after the governor’s job, I just might do it.”
Others said Augustine is down but not totally out.
“Ms. Augustine’s political future would at best be an uphill run,” said Jim Denton, a Las Vegas political consultant and Republican.
“But I will remind you that you can never discount anyone in politics.”