Conservative options to ponder for ‘18 legislative races

As the smoke begins to clear from the disaster that was the 2017 Nevada Legislature under Democrat rule, let’s avoid the Christmas rush and take an early look at the upcoming 2018 election cycle.

First, Republicans have virtually zero chance to regain control of the State Senate. And conservatives face similar long odds against gaining control of the Senate GOP caucus. So let’s just move on…

Republicans in the State Assembly are also destined to remain in the minority. However, there’s an opportunity for conservatives to oust the current RINO (Republican in Name Only) leadership of their caucus.

The current caucus membership consists of eight wishy-washy Republicans loyal to Minority Leader Paul Anderson who deserve primary challenges and seven conservatives. Of the “Anderson Eight,” four voted for the largest tax hike in state history in the 2015 session…

Anderson himself: The RINO King. Worst of the worst. Anderson actively funded and worked against conservative candidates in 2016.

John Hambrick: Can run again in 2018, but is said to be interested in upgrading to a state senate seat. But the Senate GOP caucus doesn’t want him.

Melissa Woodbury: Has one of the most moderate voting records of any Republican in the Assembly, made worse by the fact that she represents a Republican-majority district. If a quality conservative candidate came out early against her in the primary, there’s a chance she wouldn’t even run again.

James Oscarson: Barely won his GOP primary last year against a terribly under-funded candidate. If brothel owner Dennis Hof – who left the Libertarians and joined the GOP last December - runs against Oscarson in next year’s primary, Oscarson is toast. (Disclosure: I’m a paid consultant to Mr. Hof)

The other four members of the “Anderson Eight” who deserve a primary challenge: Chris Edwards, Keith Pickard, Jill Tolles and Jim Wheeler — an opportunistic politician drunk on power and ambition who sold out the conservative members of his caucus this year for a leadership position in Anderson’s regime.

The seven conservatives who make up the other half of this divided Assembly caucus are: John Ellison, Robin Titus, Al Kramer, Lisa Krasner, Jim Marchant, Richard McArthur and Ira Hansen, who has already announced he’s not running for re-election.

Hopefully Ira will be replaced with another conservative. If so, conservatives would only need to oust one of the Anderson Eight to gain control of the Assembly GOP caucus and oust Anderson from his leadership position — just as Republicans did to another wishy-washy RINO, former-Minority Leader Pat “The Appeaser” Hickey, in 2014.

And then Republicans in 2019 could at least be a true opposition party rather than what they were (again) this session: A go-along-to-get-along, thank-you-sir-may-I-have-another party. So let it be written; so let it be done.

Chuck Muth is publisher of You can read additional columns and/or contact him at


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