Jim Rogers set to end speculation Wednesday

Nevada's University Chancellor Jim Rogers says he'll end speculation about his political plans with a press conference Wednesday morning.

It has been rumored for months that Rogers, a multimillionaire Las Vegas businessman who is currently chancellor of the university system, was planning a run for governor. He has refused to say what his plans are, but made waves on several occasions with comments such as his blunt criticism of Rep. Jim Gibbons.

Gibbons is the Republican front-runner, who will formally announce his candidacy at the end of this month.

Rogers told viewers of the cable news program "Las Vegas One" in July that Gibbons doesn't have great leadership qualities, and that "I don't think he's very bright."

His description of Gibbons to a Las Vegas Sun reporter the following day was: "He's very narrow-minded. He's very simplistic." He added he didn't believe Gibbons could handle the job effectively.

In response to the criticism he received for those comments, Rogers - a lifelong Republican - changed his party registration to nonpartisan a couple of weeks later.

He seemed to suggest at that time he was considering running as an Independent.

If he chooses to do so, fund-raising won't be an issue. Rogers owns 98 percent of the stock in Sunbelt Communications, the corporation which operates NBC affiliate TV stations in 10 communities including Reno, Las Vegas and Elko.

After his voter registration change, Rogers created a political action committee he said would be dedicated to education issues, including challenging those whom he regards as anti-education.

Rogers is a longtime Las Vegas resident. He graduated from Las Vegas High in 1956, and received his law degree from the University of Arizona.

He was named interim university chancellor late last year and formally named chancellor of the system by the Board of Regents in May.

Rogers scheduled his announcement on the governor's race for 9 a.m. Wednesday at the Stirling Club in Las Vegas.

n Contact reporter Geoff Dornan at gdornan@nevadaappeal.com or 687-8750.


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