> 2015 > April
“There comes a time when you walk away
from all the drama and the people who create it.”
—Richard M. Nixon
When all is said and done, decisions like this really aren’t that difficult to make. In a certain sense, decisions like this are made for you.
What am I talking about?
Leaving the Legislature, of course. I’ve done it before. I gave little notice then. And I’m doing it again, now.
Following the 1997 Session, everyone thought I would run again. I’d won in a Democrat majority district (AD 27 in old Reno) and most political observers thought that given the close relationship that I’d forged with Sen. Bill Raggio, I’d come back for a number of terms in the Assembly—until I could one day take Bill’s place in the State Senate, when he retired.
Instead, I announced in the fall of that year that I wouldn’t seek reelection in November of 1998. As I wrote later in Tahoe Boy, “…It had meant a lot to gain the office. It meant even more to have had the privilege to serve in it. Still, someone else could fill my Assembly seat. No one else could fill my shoes as a father.”
I feel much the same way now. It’s time to simply go, this time to be a grandfather. And to pursue another work endeavor that will make me happy.
I know some of you (besides the ones who are just plain glad I’m leaving) will wonder whether my resignation is the result of being ousted from leadership in the Republican Assembly Caucus. That is a factor; I can’t deny it.
The denial of my hopes for “Speakership” and the way I’ve been treated by the rascally Republicans in my “raucous caucus” certainly has played a role in my decision to throw in the towel. As former Speaker Marilyn Kirkpatrick said to me following my ouster from Republican leadership, “My [Democrat] Caucus kept me as Minority Leader even after losing the majority. Your [Republican] Caucus wins an historic majority—and they throw you out the door!”
Not exactly great for one’s dignity, I must admit. I am also tired of being called, in a daily barrage of angry emails, a “RINO” [Republican in Name Only]. Recently, I’ve even been called a “NINO” [Nevadan in Name Only], and possibly the cruelest cut of all, an “AINO” [American in Name Only].
All kidding aside, and as someone who writes daily about finding silver linings inside grey clouds, I have planned an exit strategy that will net me a nice share of political revenge.
There is no truth to the rumor… that Brian Sandoval will not run for Harry Reid’s U.S. Senate seat. Friends have told me the Governor has been persuaded that he has a duty to the state, one that supersedes other considerations. Whatever the outcome of this session, Sandoval is in the best position to win both the Republican primary and a general election. And that is what he will do.
When Sandoval announces his decision, the governorship will, of course, be handed over to Lt. Governor Mark Hutchison. Depending on the exact timing of the transfer of power, Hutch, as the Governor, will then have to appoint his successor as Lt. Governor. That’s where I come in.
By retiring from the Legislature now, and serving on the Lt. Governor’s staff, I will be well-positioned to be appointed by Mark when the appropriate time comes.
Revenge garnered. Political status regained.
It has been a pleasure to serve in the Nevada Legislature in two different decades—and yes, two different centuries.
Out of the ashes of an Assembly embarrassment, I see a way to a Phoenix-like political recovery.
He who gets the last laugh…
And for you, if you have believed even one word of what you’ve just read, then let me wish you a very
“Happy April Fool’s Day!”
(What isn’t a joke is what Congressman Mark Amodei said on the occasion of his biennial address to the Nevada Legislature this year: “Pat Hickey is the happiest man in the Assembly.”
That’s quite true. I’m so happy, in fact, that I plan to stay until I’m term limited in 2021. Why not, when you’re having this much fun…?)