Clark County Commission Chairman Steve Sisolak, a Democrat, said Monday he won’t run against incumbent Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval.
Sisolak said the timing isn’t right and he’s still more interested in leading the commission. In addition, it would be difficult to catch up to Sandoval’s fund-raising as the governor took in $3 million in 2013, he said.
“Now is just not the right time for me,” Sisolak, 60, said in an interview. “I did all of my due diligence, a lot of research and polling and talked to my family. I just decided that the timing is not right. I love my job and I’ve got a lot I want to do still.”
The Democratic Party has yet to field a top-tier candidate to take on Sandoval, 50, who’s running for re-election with an approval rating between 50 percent and 60 percent in recent polls.
U.S. Sen. Harry Reid-D-Nev., and other top Democrats had been encouraging Sisolak to run.
“I got a lot of support from people,” Sisolak said. “I know there’s going to be some people that are pleased with my decision and some people who are disappointed.”
Sisolak said he called Sandoval to tell him he wouldn’t be challenging him this year.
“I’m very comfortable with my decision,” Sisolak said.
Last week, state Sen. Tick Segerblom, D-Las Vegas, said he doubted he would run for governor, mostly because he hadn’t received backing from top Democrats. Segerblom, who is midway through a four-year term, could change his mind now.
“I don’t think I’ll be in the governor’s race this year,” Segerblom, 65, said last week. “The powers that be are conspicuously silent when I bring the subject up.”
So far, only little-known candidates have expressed interest in running for governor. They include Democrat Chris Hyepock and Frederick Conquest, a professor at the College of Southern Nevada, who has said he’ll likely run as a Democrat, after abandoning an independent run since he didn’t collect enough signatures to meet an early February deadline.
Perennial candidate Eddie Hamilton is running in the GOP primary against Sandoval. And David VanDerBeek is running under the Independent American Party banner.
Contact reporter Laura Myers at email@example.com or 702-387-2919. Follow her on Twitter @lmyerslvrj.