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Will Cloobeck Alter The Governor's Race in Nevada?


(AP Photo/Susan Walsh)

Stephen Cloobeck, Board of Directors for Corporation for Travel Promotion, left, looks back at President Barack Obama as he is introduced at a fundraiser at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas, Monday, Oct. 24, 2011.

Will multi-millionaire Stephen Cloobeck run for governor and change everything in the race?

Will the Republican-backed recall of three female state lawmakers be stopped in court?

And which direction are Nevada voters leaning, after national races this week indicated a backlash against President Trump?

Political columnist Jon Ralston, publisher of online’s Nevada Independent, joins us.


On Stephen Cloobeck:

Stephen Cloobeck has been a long-time donor to the Democratic Party nationally and here. He used to be the head of a company called Diamond Resorts, which was timeshares and shopping centers and some other stuff that his dad started. He made the company incredibly successful and then sold it. And now he’s playing the role – very successfully – of the bored rich guy.

He’s not going to run. I don’t see him actually getting into the race. I think he’s enjoying being on MSNBC once in a while. They love him because he’s irreverent. He’ll say basically anything that comes into his head.

On the response to the Oct. 1 shooting:

The only candidate for statewide office who has talked about background checks is Adam Laxalt, who’s running for governor, who has been part of the state government’s refusal to implement what passed by the voters saying its unenforceable. The governor has agreed with him.

Support comes from

Laxalt came out after the largest mass shooting in modern American history and said the background checks initiative would not have stopped what Stephen Paddock did because presumably, he obtained his guns legally.

We’ve seen this before. It’s the same thing we’ve seen before which is ‘now is not the time to talk about gun control.’ And so, there is no real discussion. And even though the Las Vegas one was the largest one in numbers, if you weren’t going to have this discussion in some way… whether it is effective or not… but have the robust discussion after a bunch of little kids were slaughtered at Sandy Hook when are you ever going to have this discussion.

On the recall of State Senators Joyce Woodhouse, Nicole Cannizzaro, and Patricia Farley:

They just submitted the signatures for the Patty Farley recall. They already submitted ones for Joyce Woodhouse, which appear to have been just over the threshold they needed but Democrats are going to challenge the signatures.

They obviously gave up on Farley. They submitted just over 2,000 signatures to the Election Dept. today. They needed more than 7,000. So that’s done. There’s going to be no recall against Farley. That’s the least important one frankly. She’s not running for re-election. The other districts have Democratic senators and they believe they can win those recall elections.

This is going to be decided by a judge. There are going to be two different legal avenues that are going to be pursued. One has already been filed, which is a massive federal lawsuit that evokes the Voting Act and other federal issues that have nothing to do with the state Constitution, which is very permissive on recalls.

The Republicans are doing this for one reason and one reason only: They can’t take back the State Senate, which they trail 12 to 9 if you include Farley, who caucused with the Democrats. All the Democrats running next year are safe. They’ve come up with this stunt. They’ve ginned up these reasons for it. Some of which are ludicrous and others are hypocritical.

On TV reporter turned candidate Michelle Mortensen:

I think it is fairly astonishing that somebody that has been in the news business would announce her candidacy by attacking the media, which is what she did. They’re typical Republican talking points trying to go after the so-called liberal media. Apparently, she left Channel 8 because she was so disgusted with the liberal media and how they go after people. Remember she was in the media.

She probably has better name recognition, even though I had never heard of her. I don’t watch a lot of local news. She is a consumer report. There is a lot of goodwill towards consumer reporters. They help people.

The bottom line is she’s in a three-way primary with State Senator Scott Hammond and former Assemblywoman Victoria Seaman. They’re not that well known either. Although, Seaman has a conservative base. She was able to knock off a sitting assemblyman in a primary for the State Senate eventually lost in the general election in 2016.

I think there is going to be a lot of money spent in that primary. The person who is happiest is Democrat Susie Lee. She’s going to love to see them spending all that money beating each other up.

You need a moderate to win in that district. It’s a swing district. Very difficult for a far-right conservative to win in a swing district, doesn’t mean he couldn’t win in Mark Amodei’s district for instance which is heavily dominated by Republicans. But in CD 3, you would believe that a moderate would have a better chance in the general election.



Jon Ralston, publisher, Nevada Independent

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