Sandoval: I’m focused on the state, not Reid’s open U.S. Senate seat |

Sandoval: I’m focused on the state, not Reid’s open U.S. Senate seat

Steve Ranson
Gov. Brian Sandoval talks to reporters Friday monring in Fallon about Sen. Harry Reid not running for re-election and his own plans.

Gov. Brian Sandoval, in Fallon on Friday for the launch of a new young entrepreneurs program to start businesses and then to visit several schools, deflected questions on running for Sen. Harry Reid’s open Senate seat in 2016, saying he is more interested in improving the state, specifically in education.

“My focus is on Nevada, period,” Sandoval told reporters in front of the steps of the old Fallon post office. “Politics can take care of itself.”

Reid, a Democrat who first served in the House of Representatives before becoming a senator in 1986, unexpectedly announced earlier in the day that he was not seeking his sixth term to the Senate.

Several hours after Reid’s surprise announcement, Sandoval, the popular Nevada governor who won re-election to a second term in November, issued a media release commending Reid and his service to the Silver State.

“Senator Reid has been an influential voice in Congress on behalf of Nevada’s interests, particularly on issues such as Yucca Mountain and renewable energy development,” Sandoval’s statement said. “His service to Nevada as a state legislator, lieutenant governor, congressman and senator spans almost half a century and his legacy will last for generations.”

Sandoval said he has appreciated Reid’s longevity and service to the state, and for his service as both the Senate majority and minority leader.

“I have said it before, but it’s been great for Nevada to be in a position of leadership,” Sandoval added.

For the next 22 months, Sandoval vowed to work with Reid on issues that affect Nevada.

As for his future, Sandoval, who has been rumored to run for the U.S Senate, said he is committed as governor.

“My focus is entirely on the legislative session, and we are almost 60 days into it,” he said. “I’m working on a budget and strengthening education in our state.”

Sandoval said he would continue to work with the Legislature on a plethora of bills and projects.

“I feel good where we are today,” Sandoval stressed.

During the month, Sandoval has toured the state to visit schools and to look at their programs. In Churchill County, Sandoval read to a first-grade class and then toured a STEM (science, technology, engineering, mathematics) lab at the middle school and kicking off the entrepreneurial program.