While the general consensus is that 2016 was a disaster for Republicans in Nevada, not so for conservatives. An awful lot of culling of the RINO (Republicans in Name Only) herd was accomplished, as well as a thorough mucking out of the RINO stable.
And with that in mind, here’s my list of the top ten Nevada conservatives for 2016…
10) Ira Hansen. Ira was one of the strongest opponents of RINO Gov. Brian Sandoval’s $1.4 billion tax hike and one of the biggest behind-the-scenes supporters of conservative candidates who ran against tax-hiking legislators in 2016.
9.) Jim Marchant. Jim defeated tax-hiking Assemblyman Glenn Trowbridge in the Republican primary, and went on to win the seat in the general election.
8.) Al Kramer. Al defeated tax-hiking Assemblyman P.K. O’Neill in the Republican primary, and went on to win the seat in the general election.
7.) Danny Tarkanian. Tark dispatched the Prince of RINOs, state Sen. “Tax Hike Mike” Roberson, in the 3rd Congressional District GOP primary and refused to buckle under extreme pressure to “dump Trump” just weeks before the general election.
6.) Dan Schwartz. Despite setback after setback in both the judicial and political arenas, Nevada’s state treasurer has plowed forward, undaunted, with efforts to make Nevada’s landmark school choice program, Education Savings Accounts (ESAs), a reality.
5.) Ron Knecht. The Nevada State Controller led the successful legal battle to repeal Gov. Sandoval’s new job-killing “Commerce Tax” via referendum. Alas, the Nevada Supreme Court dragged its feet and didn’t clear the measure until a month before the deadline to submit signatures. As such, it didn’t qualify for the ballot.
4.) Wayne Root. Wayne is hands down the most prolific preacher of the conservative gospel in Nevada. He’s an author, columnist, speaker, and radio talk show host. Wayne was also an early and outspoken supporter of Donald Trump.
3.) Adam Laxalt. Nevada’s attorney general has been the “Energizer Bunny” in fulfilling his campaign promise to protect Nevada’s sovereignty from federal government overreach. Adam was also unique among Nevada’s top elected officials for refusing to throw Donald Trump under the bus.
“Governor Laxalt” has a certain ring to it, don’t you think?
2.) Charles Munoz and Michael McDonald. At a time when all the “experts” declared that Donald Trump had absolutely no chance to win the Republican Party nomination, let alone the presidency itself, Munoz and McDonald defied conventional wisdom and boarded the Trump Train - Munoz as Trump’s Nevada director and McDonald as chairman of the Nevada Republican Party.
Trump won the Nevada primary easily, and came a heckuva lot closer in the general than anyone thought possible.
1.) Victor Joecks. So what did the former executive vice president of the conservative Nevada Policy Research Institute do in Nevada last year to warrant this #1 position?
Instead, Victor spent the year deployed in Iraq with the Nevada National Guard. As George Orwell would put it, Nevadans slept peaceably in their beds at night because rough men like Victor stood ready to do violence on our behalf.
He is now safely home and will soon begin fighting the conservative cause again in Nevada as an opinion columnist for the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
Welcome home, Victor. More importantly…THANK YOU!
Chuck Muth is president of Citizen Outreach and publisher of NevadaNewsandViews.com.