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Jon Ralston, Ralston Reports

BY MARIE ANDRUSEWICZ -- With State Senator Mark Huchison endorsed by Nevada’s GOP establishment, including Governor Sandoval, for the office of lieutenant governor, why is Republican Sue Lowden putting her name out as a possible candidate?

She didn’t really say,” says political pundit Jon Ralston, “Except the usual ‘I’m a business woman, and economic development is important,’ – neither of which, by the way, are really true. She’s not really a business woman, and economic development has been taken away from the lieutenant governor by the governor.”

Ralston says the irony of this particular gambit is that Lowden is the outsider in the contest – in striking contrast to 2010, when she was the one “anointed” by the Republican Party to take on Sen. Harry Reid. Ralston suggests that she may be feeling snubbed by the Republicans in favor Sen. Huchison, who has basically “been in office for a cup of coffee” – although he’s won rave reviews.

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During Lowden’s 2010 campaign, she took on some baggage. First, debt from the race that she hasn’t resolved, three years after the fact. “She doesn’t really have a good reason for not paying these people,” says Ralston of the television stations and direct mail distributors who have yet to receive payment for services.  Second, the fact that she wasn’t as strong a candidate in that race as Republicans had hoped – most notoriously, becoming a target for her “chickens for checkups” suggestion. During a TV interview, Lowden notoriously suggested that doctors might be more flexible in how they’re paid for healthcare services, like back in the days when patients could barter for services.

Ralston says that the lieutenant governor race is especially important this year, because of the possibility that Gov. Sandoval will leave before his term is up.

But, he says, “I am by no means convinced that Sue Lowden is the candidate.”

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