To understand why Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval faces no significant opposition for re-election, voters must look beyond his high approval ratings and his steady leadership in the aftermath of the Great Recession. Voters must look beyond his education reforms, which improved competition and accountability in Nevada’s underachieving public school system, beyond his work attracting new companies and new jobs.
Gov. Sandoval has a big-picture vision for Nevada, but three low-profile interventions in Southern Nevada proved he’s happy to roll up his sleeves and bring people together when they can’t work out solutions to important problems on their own.
Two years ago, bad blood between the Clark County Education Association and the Clark County School District stymied the system’s attempts to apply for tens of millions of dollars in federal Race to the Top grants — Obama administration guidelines required the support of the union to implement oversight of new programs. Days before the application deadline, Gov. Sandoval, a former federal judge and state attorney general, intervened and mediated a resolution that allowed the application to go forward. The school district wasn’t selected for a grant, but the governor at least gave the system a chance.
Six months ago, when the ailing North Las Vegas government was on the brink of being taken over by the state, a pair of city unions refused to give up salary increases that would necessitate layoffs. Gov. Sandoval joined the talks and helped broker a settlement that left the city solvent and preserved city services. “I will say that without (Gov. Sandoval) getting involved in this, this wouldn’t get done,” Teamsters Local 14 President Larry Griffith told the Review-Journal afterward.
This summer, severe flash floods struck the Rainbow community on Mount Charleston a second time because Clark County and the federal government couldn’t reach an agreement on how to build and manage a diversion project. Gov. Sandoval immediately stepped in and brokered a deal that got the Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Forest Service started on the federally funded berm, and gave the state ownership and responsibility for the barrier.
No school function, no business opening, no local government dispute is too small for Gov. Sandoval’s support and help. And after four years on the job, Gov. Sandoval is even more committed to education reform, tax reform and putting Nevada on the path to growth and prosperity.
His Democratic challenger, Bob Goodman, finished second in June’s primary to “None of these candidates” by more than 5 percentage points, has no campaign resources and no party support. The 80-year-old worked in state and local government many years ago, has trouble staying on topic and describes himself as a “people person and unemployed bureaucrat of 30 years.” We asked Mr. Goodman, a perfectly well-intentioned man, why we should endorse his candidacy over Gov. Sandoval’s, and he said, “I’m not really sure on that one.” We can’t come up with a single reason either.
The Review-Journal endorses Brian Sandoval for governor.
▶ ON THE WEB: For an up-to-date list of the Review-Journal editorial board’s 2014 election endorsements, go to www.reviewjournal.com/endorsements. A complete list of candidate endorsements will be published Oct. 17 and Nov. 2.
For a list of all candidates endorsed by the Las Vegas Review-Journal so far this election season, click here.