Republicans endorse Republican for AG, in surprising and unexpected move

In a shocking new development, Republican attorney general candidate Adam Laxalt announced today that sheriffs from Republican counties in Nevada have endorsed his election over a Democrat, Secretary of State Ross Miller.

“I am honored to have such strong support from many of our state’s top law-enforcement officers,” Laxalt said in a statement.

Sadly, he was apparently unable to gain the endorsements of the sheriffs in the two counties where human beings live in large numbers, Clark and Washoe counties. But every other sheriff in the state — representing virtually 100 percent of Republican Nevada — backed Laxalt’s candidacy. (The lone exception, in Mineral County, shows just 29 more active registered Democrats than Republicans. Mineral County Sheriff Stewart Handte endorsed Laxalt.)

Today’s news flash follows the equally shocking and totally unexpected endorsement of Laxalt’s candidacy by Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval, Republican U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, Republican U.S. Reps. Mark Amodei and Joe Heck, and former Republican Gov. Bob List. At this rate, it won’t be long until Laxalt has the endorsements of many Republican clubs around the state, too.

But Laxalt also has the support of such national Republican luminaries as former Vice President Dick Cheney, who’s track record in backing Republican lawyers is frankly unmatched. Cheney also strongly supported CIA name-leak scandal figure and convicted liar Scooter Libby, secrecy and executive power aficionado David Addington, and torture memo collaboratorsJohn Yoo and Jay Bybee.

Oh, Laxalt is also endorsed by former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton, who is, shockingly, a Republican, as well as longtime Nevada attorney Joe Brown, the former Republican National Committeeman for Nevada.

UPDATE: Not to be outdone, Miller this afternoon put out a news release that lists his law-enforcement, public-safety endorsements. He’s got a few, including some big ones. A partial list:

Clark County Prosecutors Association

Peace Officers Research Association of Nevada

Reno Police Protective Association

Washoe County Deputy Sheriff’s Association

Washoe County Deputy Sheriff’s Supervisory Association

Las Vegas Police Protective Association

Nevada State Law Enforcement Officers’ Association

Clark County District Attorney Investigators Association

Professional Fire Fighters of Nevada

Southern Nevada Conference of Police and Sheriffs

Nevada Association of Public Safety Officers (representing over 17 member associations including the Henderson Police Officers Association and the Henderson Police Supervisors Association)

UPDATE: My colleague Ray Hagar of the Reno Gazette-Journal says in a blog that Laxalt claimed he’d have the endorsement of former state Senate Majority Leader Bill Raggio, who died in 2012. “Do I think we would have had the support of Sen. Raggio in this race? Absolutely,” Laxalt told Hagar. “There is no question we would have had his support.”

The quote is obviously meant to blunt the impact of a fundraiser hosted by Raggio’s widow, Dale Raggio, and co-hosted by Dema Guinn, widow of former Gov. Kenny Guinn. The two prominent Republican women supporting Miller across party lines is a blow nearly as damaging as some members of Laxalt’s own family supporting Miller instead.

UPDATE: And now, Hagar quotes Dale Raggio saying a.) Laxalt never knew her husband at all, and b.) her husband pledged his support for Miller before his 2012 death. It’s a tough rejoinder to a claim Laxalt should never have made in the first place, especially because — even if Raggio supported Laxalt, who didn’t announce his candidacy until this year — it would be as a result of Raggio’s longtime friendship with Laxalt’s grandfather, former Gov. and U.S. Sen. Paul Laxalt, not due to any of Laxalt’s own qualifications.