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MGM Mirage backing Reid, won’t contribute to Sandoval

A spokesman for MGM Mirage says the company won’t contribute to the campaign of Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Sandoval, despite Sandoval saying it was a possibility.

During a meeting Thursday with the editorial board of the Review-Journal, Sandoval said he met with MGM Mirage chairman and CEO Jim Murren and Murren “indicated to me they would consider supporting me.”

Asked whether that meant just Murren, or Murren and MGM Mirage, Sandoval said “both.”

Such a contribution would be noteworthy because MGM Mirage typically donates to just one candidate per race and already has pledged support to Rory Reid, the Democratic candidate in the race, chairman of the Clark County Commission and son of Democratic Senate majority leader Harry Reid.

But when told of the statements by Sandoval, MGM Mirage spokesman Alan Feldman said the company is sticking with Reid.

“While we hold Brian Sandoval in very high regard, MGM Mirage is exclusively supporting Rory Reid for Governor,” Feldman wrote of the company, which supported Gov. Jim Gibbons in 2006. Gibbons is now running well behind Sandoval in the Republican primary.

“We believe that Nevada needs new leadership and, as a company, made the decision early on to support one candidate,” Feldman said, adding. “Our executives and employees often participate in campaigns individually, a practice we encourage. In that regard, the Murrens may personally participate in the campaigns of both Rory and Brian. That’s a personal decision for any individual or family to make. But as a company, we are exclusively committed to Commissioner Reid.”

Sandoval said he has raised more than $500,000 since entering the race in September. Reid reportedly has raised $3 million in cash and pledged support.

Campaign finance reports are due to be filed with the Nevada Secretary of State Jan. 15.

Contact reporter Benjamin Spillman at bspillman@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3861.

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