Reid unveils Republican list of supporters

The state's first lady and entertainer Wayne Newton are among 56 prominent Republicans supporting the re-election of Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, the Nevada Democrat's campaign announced Wednesday.

Republican kingmaker Sig Rogich and the GOP mayors of Reno and Sparks also are on the list, which Reid touted in a news release as proof of his bipartisan appeal in his home state.

"As a lifelong Republican and one who worked closely with former Presidents Ronald Reagan and George H. W. Bush, I am proud to set partisanship aside and do what is vital for our state during these extraordinarily difficult times," Rogich said in the news release.

"From preserving Lake Tahoe to fighting to protect our gaming and tourist industry from those who would want a greater federal role in our largest industry, Harry Reid ...has never forgotten his roots and has worked tirelessly to fight for Nevada's future," Rogich said.

A campaign strategist for the first President Bush and numerous Nevada candidates over the years, Rogich is a former U.S. Ambassador to Iceland.

Nevada's first lady Dawn Gibbons, a former state assemblywoman, is in the midst of an ugly divorce from Republican Gov. Jim Gibbons.

In addition to Reno Mayor Bob Cashell and Sparks Mayor Geno Martini, the Republican mayors of Wells and Mesquite are on the list supporting Reid.

"These leaders know that I continually work across party lines to help Nevada's families," Reid said in the news release. "I greatly appreciate their support and look forward to working with them as this campaign begins."

Reid doesn't yet have a Republican opponent for next year's election. A spokesman for the National Republican Senatorial Committee said a slate of endorsements wouldn't make up for Reid's low approval ratings, pointing to a Review-Journal poll last month that found that 45 percent of Nevada voters plan to vote against Reid.

"When nearly half the voters in his home state want to replace him even before Republicans have a candidate, Harry Reid is going to need all the help he can get," Brian Walsh said.

Other names on Reid's list include:

• Station Casinos executives Lorenzo Fertitta and Frank Fertitta III.

• MGM Mirage CEO Jim Murren.

• Former Lt. Gov. Lonnie Hammargren.

• Las Vegas Latin Chamber of Commerce President Otto Merida.

• Republican consultant Jim Denton.

• Former Clark County Commissioner Mark James.

• Former Carson City Mayor Marv Teixeira.

Contact reporter Molly Ball at mball@ or 702-387-2919.