LAS VEGAS – The pieces continue to fall into place for a political shake up like Nevada has never seen.
Senator John Ensign is stepping down, Congressman Dean Heller may take his place and the chain reaction is now uncharted territory that could cost the state hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Governor Brian Sandoval said Friday he will name a replacement for Ensign before May 3rd. If Heller is the selection, as has been expected, state leaders actually have no idea of what exactly to do next.
There are two scenarios: to fill Heller’s congressional seat, the governor must call a special election. Already a number of candidates are prepped and in the race.
However, it could be a free for all, where every single candidate — even those of the same party — could be on the ticket.
A so-called jungle primary wouldn’t be a primary at all, but a race where multiple Republicans like Sharron Angle could split the ticket and a Democrat with as little as 20 percent of the vote could win.
The other option still being investigated would be a party selection. The leadership in each major party would choose their best candidate and those two would battle it out. But [Democratic] Secretary of State Ross Miller will be the one to decide.
Miller said the rules are conflicting in some cases and unclear in others.
Another kink in the works would be two lawsuits already filed about district boundaries.
It’s also unclear if the current Congressional district lines would be used.