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Krolicki weighs run for U.S. Senate

CARSON CITY — Republican Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki said Thursday he’s considering a run against U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., in 2010.

Krolicki said that he’s discussing with his family the prospect of challenging Reid and will decide by early next year whether to try to unseat the veteran senator and political powerhouse.

"We’re doing the due diligence we need to do," said Krolicki, adding that he’s "absolutely taking this possibility seriously. This might be the moment. We’re going to look at this really hard."

Republicans "got shellacked" nationally and in Nevada in the latest elections, Krolicki said, adding that the GOP rebuilding effort in Nevada must include an effort to get a first-rate slate of candidates for numerous offices that will be up for grabs.

"We need to rally around one candidate, whoever that is, for governor, for Senate, for congressional seats, for constitutional offices," he said.

Krolicki, elected lieutenant governor in 2006 after serving two four-year terms as state treasurer, said he has received calls from Republicans at both the state and national level about a race against Reid, whom he described as "too liberal and too partisan for Nevada."

"We would have the credibility and the networks, the ability to raise money and certainly be a known presence throughout the state that would make this race a very credible one," he added.

"I certainly would anticipate a grueling several years," Krolicki said. "The boxer in Senator Reid I know would come out. That’s how he does things. It would be a scorched-earth policy.

"But I know who I am, I know my record of public service. This might be the moment that Nevada decides to pass the torch on to the next generation," said Krolicki, 47.

Reid spokesman Jon Summers said Reid "delivers results for Nevada that no one else can," and has worked with Republican Sen. John Ensign of Nevada "to do what is best for Nevada."

"As for the ‘liberal’ remark, Mr. Krolicki should know that name-calling and mudslinging won’t work in Nevada, as was proven in the last election," Summers said. "At a time when Nevada is facing incredible economic challenges, people are looking for results, not rhetoric."

Reid’s political career included a successful bid for the state Assembly in 1968, followed two years later by a successful run for lieutenant governor.

In 1974, Reid narrowly lost his first U.S. Senate race to Republican Paul Laxalt. He also lost a race for mayor of Las Vegas.

Reid then was named chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission, a job he held from 1977 to 1981, and was elected to the U.S. House in 1982 and 1984. He won his first Senate term in 1986 and is now in his fourth six-year term.

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