Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval says decision about political future coming ‘very soon’
For the first time since he became governor, Brian Sandoval on Tuesday didn’t reject the idea of a U.S. Senate run.
The less than subtle shift came the day after adjournment of arguably the most successful legislative session a governor could ask for, a session that will undoubtedly cement his reputation as a guy who can get things done.
“This is the greatest job I could hope for,” Sandoval said.
But the tenor of his remarks opened the door for the first time to the notion he may be ready for a new challenge.
Sandoval has repeatedly said he was focused on being governor for the full second term to which voters elected him last November and wasn’t thinking about any other office.
But with the 2015 Legislature behind him, he said on Tuesday: “That decision will be coming in the near future.”
If he runs, he could do so with impunity since it would be half-way through his second term as chief executive and a loss would simply mean he finishes that term.
He said earlier he told everyone trying to push him toward that race he was focused on the legislative session and being governor.
“There have been inquiries,” he said. “There have been questions.”
He said Tuesday he has even refused to return phone calls on the subject.
But now, the legislature has adjourned and Sandoval’s tone changed significantly when asked.
“It’s going to be a few more days, then I’ll make a decision,” he said Tuesday while discussing the legislative session.
Sandoval has long been touted by his own party — even at the national level — as the ideal Republican choice to replace retiring Harry Reid in the U.S. Senate. With a 70 percent–plus approval rating, he’s the candidate potential Democratic candidates fear most.
The Democratic front-runner has to be considered Catherine Cortez Masto, former Attorney General and the candidate Reid himself has encouraged to run. She has begun an aggressive campaign raising numerous issues.
In addition, she’s expected to have the money needed to mount a strong campaign statewide.
If Sandoval runs, it wouldn’t be the first time he left one office mid-term for another. In fact, if he stays, it would be the first time in his political career he has stayed until the end in a position.
He left the Nevada Assembly before his term ended to join the Nevada Gaming Commission, then left that post to run for Attorney General. He left that office when he was named a federal judge, then left that lifetime appointment to run for governor.