Out of the blue, an announcement from Montandon's campaign

North Las Vegas Mayor Mike Montandon told the Review-Journal he planned to run for governor back in November. Besides speaking to journalists, however, he's been pretty quiet about his intentions. But today, he suddenly weighed in with a campaign press release.

The first words of the release are "Mike Montandon, the Mayor of North Las Vegas and the leading Republican Gubernatorial candidate in 2010 ...." The topic is the issue of union elections, being considered by Congress in the Employee Free Choice Act, which would make it easier to unionize workplaces.

Montandon, the release says, "is running on a platform that includes protecting the rights of all Nevadans to vote by a secret ballot for all elections including union organizing elections." In the release, he takes issue with the "card check" bill, which would allow unions to form without secret-ballot votes.

“It’s important to all Nevadans that we have strong, experienced leadership in Carson City that can stand up to those who wish to deny this fundamental right to all of our citizens," Montandon says in the release.

Reached by phone, Bryon Geddes, Montandon's campaign manager, said the campaign is up and running with "office space and staff." Although the union debate is unfolding at the federal level and Montandon's bid is for state office, Montandon wanted to weigh in because he feels strongly about it, Geddes said.

If Congress does pass card check, it's possible states still could make policy on the issue, added Steve Wark, an adviser to the campaign.

The campaign, he said, is meeting its fundraising goals and identifying supporters. He didn't say what those goals are, but said they're well beyond the disappointing $15,000 Montandon reported in his campaign account back in January.

"We raised more than that in one day last week," Wark said. "We're very encouraged by the response we've gotten since the first of the year."

Montandon's campaign also has a Web site that proclaims the slogan "A New Nevada." It has a nifty flash interface and not much else at this point, though there is a link to "Mike's blog," where the mayor muses semi-regularly on matters personal and political.