Skip to main content

(Also at Nevada Progressive)

To a large extent, we didn't see too many surprises last night. Both Shelley Berkley and Dean Heller won their respective primaries for US Senate, as did John Oceguera in NV-03. Yep, everything seemed to go smoothly and as planned...

Except it didn't.

While Danny Tarkanian ultimately prevailed in NV-04, he did so only narrowly... And only narrowly over the underfunded Barbara Cegavske. And in another embarrassing blow to "Baby Tark", he lost to Cegavske in Clark County! Oh yes, that's right. Barbara Cegavske actually beat "Lil' Tark Shark" in the territory where his last name is golden, and he needed the rurals to save his sorry behind.

And in the Legislature, we saw some dramatic upheaval. In AD 39 in rural Northern Nevada, incumbent Assembly Member Kelly Kite lost to "tea party" backed Jim Wheeler. While Kite was no moderate, he voted for last year's budget... Which still made him insufficiently conservative for the "tea party". In AD 9 in Southwest Vegas, GOP Establishment backed Victoria DeLaGuerra-Seaman narrowly lost to "some dude" Kelly Hurst. And in AD 35, which is just to the south of AD 9, Adam Cegavske (Barbara's son) lost to "some dude" Tom Blanchard.

And then, there's SD 1.

Michael Flores, who helped organize the opposition to [John] Lee, said liberals were motivated to oust Lee after the last legislative session, when he pushed a controversial bill to allow guns on college campuses and succeeded in pushing through another bill that could pave the way for more development around Lake Tahoe.

“Last session was really ugly,” Flores said. “We couldn’t sit around and let nothing happen. We couldn’t sit around and not follow through on our threat.” [...]

 Lee had, for a time, been running for Congress, against Senate Majority Leader Steven Horsford. But when Lee dropped out of that race and ran for re-election, he quickly earned the full-throttled support of the Democratic Party establishment.

Even such groups that had tangled with him in Carson City, like the state teacher’s union and AFL-CIO — the traditional Democratic political muscle — remained neutral in the race, instead of opposing him.

Who could have guessed? Who could have guessed?

This was the first time that the Netroots/Grassroots Left organized to unseat an incumbent Democratic legislator for voting too far to the right. And since John Lee had quite the conservative record for representing a safe Democratic seat, progressives seized on the opportunity to correct that. And despite all the money spent by Lee and the support he received from the Democratic Establishment and the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce, Lee only managed to score 37% yesterday against military veteran, college lecturer, ordained minister, and out lesbian Pat Spearman. And interestingly enough, voters soured on Lee because of his opposition to progressive goals like marriage equality, fair taxation, reproductive rights, and good environmental stewardship.

While Nevada has become accustomed to seeing bloody primaries on the right, this is the first time that we saw a successful challenge from the left. And this probably won't be the last time.

All in all, we had an interesting night here in The Silver State last night. And later this week, I'll explain how this affects the general election.

Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags


More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site