Chachas raises more than $1.4 million for campaign to challenge Reid's seat

Republican candidate for senate John Chachas put his money where his mouth is.

On Thursday Chachas reported he has so far raised more than $1.4 million for a campaign to challenge for the seat held by Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev.

More than $1 million came from Chachas, an investment banker and managing director at Lazard Freres & Co.

"I'm paying my own freight here," says Chachas, who comes from a family with deep roots in Ely but lives in New York and has yet to register to vote in Nevada. "I'm not using donor money to pay for my staff."

Chachas is in Nevada today conducting interviews with media. He has a house in Ely as well as interests in water and minerals in White Pine and Nye counties.

He says his experience as an advisor to major media corporations and with investment banking give him unique insight into economic problems facing the country.

"The discussion of how you fix the Nevada economy is how you fix the national economy," Chachas said.

Polling numbers put candidates Danny Tarkanian and Sue Lowden at the top of the heap of Republican challengers, with Chachas barely registering with potential voters.

He says he'll make a decision in early 2010 about whether to jump into the race with both feet and commit to sticking around until the primary.