Raising doubts, Richardson shifts Nevada staffers to Iowa

Nevada was supposed to be Bill Richardson’s big opening, the state where the Western candidate would stake his hopes for the Democratic presidential nomination.

But now the New Mexico governor has moved 10 Nevada field staffers to Iowa, raising doubts about his effort here and further underscoring that while Nevada’s presidential caucus has its place, Iowa is where the most intense battle for the Democratic nomination will be fought.

Richardson’s campaign on Tuesday characterized the move as a way to train Nevada staffers in the Jan. 3 Iowa caucuses, then bring them back to Nevada with the experience they’ll need for the Jan. 19 caucuses.

“This was the plan,” Richardson spokesman Josh McNeil said. “These folks are local people we hired here who are going to learn how to run a caucus. They’re going to come back experts in the process, but also local Nevadans who know the state. When you put those two together, they can be leaders” in the Nevada organization.

McNeil said more staffers were coming to Nevada to fill the gap and on balance staff levels would stay about the same, with “around 30” organizers. Richardson’s last campaign-finance report, for the period ending Sept. 30, listed 54 individuals on the Nevada payroll at one time or another.

One of the staffers now moving to Nevada is the national director of Mi Familia con Bill Richardson, his grass-roots Hispanic group, McNeil said.

If the training move was such a positive for Richardson’s campaign, it was not one the campaign chose to formally announce. Richardson previously criticized a similar move by rival John Edwards, who shuffled some staff from Nevada to Iowa and other states in August.

At the time, Richardson issued a statement questioning Edwards’ commitment to Nevada. “Though other campaigns may waver, I remain committed to campaigning in Nevada,” he said, adding, “My growing staff in Nevada is there to reach out to voters one by one. … To ignore Nevada is to ignore its diversity, its strength, and the tremendous value of the West to our party and to our country.”

McNeil stood by those remarks. “We’re talking about two different time frames,” he said. “That was months ago. This is a final push in Iowa to get training for our staff to come back and work here.”

Edwards’ campaign has since beefed up its Nevada staff, adding about two dozen, which it said last month amounted to tripling its ranks. Earlier this week the Edwards campaign announced it was moving three national staffers to Nevada, including a new state director, who previously served as the campaign’s Western regional director, and a labor adviser, Chris Chafe, who was previously a top official at UNITE HERE, the parent of Nevada’s powerful Culinary union.

It wasn’t clear to what degree that announcement was an attempt to paper over the departure of Edwards’ previous Nevada director, Bill Hyers, to run a U.S. Senate campaign in New Hampshire.

Chafe’s credentials could be a boost to Edwards’ attempt to woo Culinary. But it’s not the first time an Edwards staffer in Nevada has decided a better opportunity lay elsewhere. In August, field director Preston Elliot left to take a job with the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee.

Richardson has spent more time in Nevada than any other presidential candidate, 18 days, and has stressed his credentials as the regional candidate and the only Hispanic in the race. But he has failed to break into double digits in polls here.

Larry Sabato, director of the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, said Richardson was widely seen as banking his campaign on a win or near-win in Nevada. “I don’t think there’s any question he has not done as well in Nevada as he hoped to,” he said.

“It’s surprising,” Sabato said. “You would think, with being the Western candidate and so many Hispanics in Nevada. But apparently not.”

Sabato, who advocates a constitutional amendment reforming the presidential nominating process, said it’s not surprising that candidates, including Richardson, continue to spend many times more time and money in Iowa and New Hampshire than any other state.

In the pileup of unpredictable January contests, it’s not clear how much effect Nevada will have, he said. “Nevada obviously is not the Mount Everest of the contest, but it could still play a role,” he said. “It’s an unknown. It could provide an opening for a candidate other than Hillary Clinton if she wins Iowa and New Hampshire, or it could finish off everybody else.”

Contact reporter Molly Ball at mball@reviewjournal.com or (702) 387-2919.

ad-high_impact_4
News
Tate Elementary shows academic progress after categorical funding
Students at Tate Elementary in Las Vegas has benefited from a program to boost education funding in targeted student populations, known as categorical funding. One program called Zoom helps students who have fallen below grade level in reading. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Three Square helps TSA workers
Three Square Food Bank donated over 400 care bags to TSA workers affected by the government shutdown Wednesday, filled with food, personal hygiene products and water.
Las Vegas furniture store donates to Clark County firehouses
Walker Furniture donated new mattresses to all 30 Clark County firehouses in the Las Vegas Valley, starting today with Station 22. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Mount Charleston Gets Heavy Snow, Fog
Mount Charleston saw heavy snow today, and fog in lower elevations as a cold front swept across the Las Vegas Valley. (Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Krystal Whipple arrested in Arizona
Krystal Whipple, charged in the killing of a Las Vegas nail salon manager over a $35 manicure, is expected to return to Nevada to face a murder charge.
Holocaust survivor on acceptance
Holocaust survivor Celina Karp Biniaz, who was the youngest person on Schindler’s List, talks about the most important message for people to understand from her life and experiences.
Holocaust survivor speaks about telling her story
Holocaust survivor Celina Karp Biniaz, who was the youngest person on Schindler’s List, tells of opening up about her experiences during Sunday’s event at Temple Sinai.
Jesus Jara State of the Schools address
Clark County School District Superintendent Jesus Jara delivers his State of the Schools address on Friday, Jan. 11, 2019. (Amelia Pak-Harvey/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Michael Naft sworn in to Clark County Commission
Michael Naft, chosen by Gov. Steve Sisolak to be his replacement on the Clark County Commission, was sworn into office on Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019. (Shea Johnson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES Opening Party in Omnia Nightclub at Caesars Palace
CES conventioneers packed Omnia Nightclub at Caesars Palace, and let loose as they danced to DJs into the night. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Las Vegas police piecing together details of fatal shooting
Six hours after the fact, Las Vegas homicide detectives worked to reconstruct the scene of a shooting early Jan. 7 that left one man dead in the southeast valley. (Rio Lacanlale/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dyer Lawrence explains college football playoff system proposal
Las Vegan Dyer Lawrence has a new idea for a college football playoff system that includes a unique scheduling component called National Call Out Day. (Ron Kantowski/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Death row inmate Scott Dozier found dead in his cell
Nevada death row inmate Scott Dozier is dead. Dozier’s death ends his legal odyssey, which began in 2007 when he was convicted in the 2002 murder of Jeremiah Miller, but does little to clarify what’s next for Nevada’s death penalty.
I-15 southbound near Primm closed after ‘major crash’
A rollover crash Saturday morning involving at least nine vehicles on southbound Interstate 15 near Primm caused an hourslong traffic delay. Traffic was backed up to Sloan, live traffic cameras show. (Rio Lacanlale/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Death Valley visitors deal with shutdown
Visitors staying at the Furnace Creek Campground were forced to move from the campground following health and safety concerns due to lack of resources during the partial government shutdown at Death Valley National Park in Calif., on Friday, Jan. 4, 2019. Richard Brian Las Vegas Review-Journal @vegasphotograph
Half of homicides in Henderson for 2018 domestic violence related
Lt. Kirk Moore of the public information office of the city of Henderson police department speaks to the Review-Journal in Henderson, Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019. Henderson saw a slight increase in homicides in the past year. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Governor-elect Steve Sisolak stops by Las Vegas Boys and Girls Club
Governor-elect Steve Sisolak kicks off his tour to Carson City, which will take him from Las Vegas, through Tonopah, and up to the capital city. First stop is the Downtown Boys & Girls Club.
Certificates for renewing wedding vows in Clark County
The Marriage License Bureau in Clark County began issuing a Certificate of Vow Renewal to married couples who are renewing their wedding vows on Jan. 3, 2019. (Shea Johnson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas flu season better than last year (so far)
Dr. Fermin Leguen, chief medical officer and director of clinical services at the Southern Nevada Health District, said there were 24 flu-related deaths at this point in the flu season. No deaths have been reported so far this year. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
The Las Vegas Valley’s First Baby of 2019
The first 2019 baby in the Las Vegas Valley was Melialani Chihiro Manning, born at 12:10 a.m. at Henderson Hospital. (Briana Erickson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas NYE Fireworks - VIDEO
The full show: A spectacular view from the rooftop of the Trump International Hotel as 80,000 pyrotechnics illuminated the Las Vegas Strip at the stroke of midnight. Fireworks by Grucci choreographed launches from the Stratosphere, the Venetian, Treasure Island, Caesars Palace, Planet Hollywood, Aria and MGM Grand.
Snow in Henderson on New Year's Eve morning
Light snow flurries in Anthem Highlands in Henderson on Monday morning, the last day of 2018.
Sources: Henderson Constable may face more charges
Henderson Constable Earl Mitchell may face additional charges ... stemming from his spending of county funds, sources said. Mitchell was indicted earlier this month on five felony theft and fraud charges ... after a Las Vegas Review-Journal story questioned his spending. But grand jury records show even more extensive spending including ... an $800 dinner at steakhouse ... nearly 200 atm withdrawals mostly at gambling establishments ... and even Disneyland tickets. But his attorney plans to ask a judge to dismiss the charges.
Las Vegas NYE Restrictions and Enhanced Security
If you are planning to celebrate New Year's Eve on the Las Vegas Strip or Fremont Street, be aware that you are not allowed to bring backpacks, coolers, strollers or glass. There will also be an increase in security to ensure safe celebrations across town.
Catholic Charities serves up 53rd annual Christmas dinner
Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada and more than 100 volunteers served 1,000 Christmas meals to Southern Nevada's homeless and less fortunate. (K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal @kmcannonphoto)
Henderson couple adds another school to their generosity
Bob and Sandy Ellis of Henderson, who donate to several Clark County School District schools, have added Matt Kelly Elementary in Las Vegas to their list of schools where every student gets new shoes, socks and a toy. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jeffrey Martin Added To Nevada's Black Book
Martin was one of four men convicted of theft and cheating at gambling in 2016 in Clark County District Court and sentenced to prison. The Nevada Gaming Commission voted unanimously Thursday to include Martin in the black book.
Raiders Stadium Timelapse
Construction on the new Raiders stadium continues in Las Vegas.
Buffalo Wild Wings security video
Security footage from a Buffalo Wild Wings restaurant in southwest Las Vegas captured a driver who repeatedly crashed into a vehicle in a failed attempt to squeeze into a tight parking spot.
The Magical Forest at Opportunity Village
Opportunity Village's Magical Forest added 1 million lights and a synchronized music show visible from all over the forest this year. The holiday attraction, which began in 1991, has a train, rides, food and entertainment along with the light displays. (Heidi Knapp Rinella/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like