Democrats as well as Republicans are already jockeying to see who will replace Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, who is retiring at the end of next year.
And while minority leader is up for grabs, Reid does know who he wants to take his Senate seat.
Reid wants Nevada’s former Democratic Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto to replace him, telling an interviewer on the radio last Friday, “Whoever runs against Catherine, I think will be a loser.“ Reid is hopeful Masto decides to run, because he plans on helping her on the campaign trail if she throws her hat in to the race.
Other names of Nevada Democrats are being thrown around as possible candidates for Reid’s seat.
However, the climate in Nevada for Democrats recently was particularly harsh. Democrats like Ross Miller, who lost the race for attorney general last year, former Rep. Steven Horsford who lost his seat last year and former Rep. Shelley Berkley who lost a senate race in 2012 to Dean Heller are all considered possibilities.
The only Nevada Democrat in the House who did not lose in 2014 is Rep. Dina Titus, and running her on a statewide race is more than risky when she is the last member of her party in the lower chamber representing her state in Washington, D.C.
Up until Reid’s announcement to retire, many believed that Nevada’s Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval would give Reid a tough re-election fight in 2016. Republicans are likely to have a tougher fight if Cortez Masto decides to run.
Other Nevada Republicans who may step up or perhaps be persuaded to run for the Senate seat include: Rep. Joe Heck, former chairwoman of the Nevada Republican Party and former state Sen. Sue Lowden and former GOP Senate nominee Danny Tarkanian.
Ultimately, according to Nevada political observers, gaming operators are among the most powerful arbiters, through fundraising and endorsements, of who has the best chance of winning statewide office in the Silver State.