RENO, Nev. — Sen. Dean Heller says other Republicans are up to the task, but Gov. Brian Sandoval has the best chance to unseat Sen. Harry Reid should he decide to challenge the five-term Democrat next year.
Heller is vice chairman of the National Republican Senate Committee charged with fielding candidates for the 2016 elections.
Reid has said he intends to run for re-election, and Sandoval has repeatedly said he intends to serve out his full four years as governor after winning by a landslide in November.
But a number of Republican leaders are urging Sandoval to leave midterm and challenge the Senate Democratic leader.
“Whether or not he decides to run, obviously, at the end of the day, that is up to him,” Heller said. “But boy, I’d love to see him run and truly believe that he would be the premier candidate.”
Heller said during the taping of KRNV-TV’s “Nevada Newsmakers,” scheduled to air on Monday, that Sandoval is the Nevada GOP’s “A-plus candidate,” according to the Reno-Gazette Journal (http://tinyurl.com/q3zokcf)
“It doesn’t mean we don’t have ‘A’ candidates and ‘B’ candidates out there,” Heller said. “But there is no doubt, Gov. Sandoval is our ‘A-plus’ candidate.”
Heller said other Republicans with a chance to knock off Reid include state Senate Majority Leader Michael Roberson of Henderson, former Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki and Heidi Gansert, a former Assembly minority leader from Reno who also served as Sandoval’s chief of staff.
“There are a number of candidates that are expressing interest,” Heller said. “Heidi Gansert is another one who I believe is an ‘A’ candidate. We’ll see if former Lt. Gov. Krolicki wants to run. We are not at a loss for candidates.”