Who is interested in being Nevada’s next U.S. attorney?
November 14, 2008 - 5:49 pm
My list of “no thank you, I don’t want to be Nevada’s next U.S. attorney” so far is longer than the list of Democrats who say they do.
All four sons of U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid confirmed they don’t want the job, even though their dad will be the one making the recommendation to the Obama administration.
District Judge Stewart Bell said he didn’t want the job. The former Clark County district attorney decided not to run for re-election this year and said if he’d wanted to stay in public service, he would have run again.
Former federal prosecutor Stan Hunterton, also a politically active Democrat, also said it wasn’t the right time now for him.
Las Vegas attorney Bill Terry was once interested in running for the district attorney’s job, even though he’s a noted defense attorney, but he said no to my suggestion he might be a contender for the U.S. attorney’s job.
Richard Wright is better known as a defense attorney, but back in 1977 he was one of two top choices for the job. Would he be interested now? “Nope, I’m too committed to cases.”
And some of those cases are federal, so he’d have trouble taking his knowledge of those cases to the U.S. attorney’s office.
One political choice would be the same one that Reid made back in 1997 — Deputy District Attorney Victoria Villegas, a career prosecutor whose family came to the United States in 1972 as political refugees from the Philippines. An Asian woman with prosecutorial experience would benefit Reid with the Asian community and he wouldn’t be criticized like he was in the past, for appointing a woman with no experience as a prosecutor. (Current U.S. Attorney Greg Brower had no prosecutorial experience either, so it’s not a job requirement).
Villegas didn’t return my call, so I don’t know if she’s still interested.
In 1993, Reid nominated Kathryn Landreth, who he met in his 1986 election when she was his debate coach. She was the first woman in Nevada to hold the job. When he nominated Landreth for a federal judgeship, he suggested Villegas for the U.S. attorney’s job. But when Landreth didn’t get the federal judgeship and stayed as U.S. attorney until 1998, Villegas was shut out of that job and continued her career as a prosecutor.
Landreth herself is not a likely contender, she took copies of records involving former employees when she left the office and the Justice Department considered, but did not prosecute her for that.
So who is interested and, I’m told, would make a “superb” candidate?
You have to read to my Saturday column for the answer.