Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said he plans on running for re-election in 2016. Reid has been in the Senate since 1987 and would be seeking a sixth term.
Politico reported Reid made the announcement Tuesday to about 50 aides just outside the Senate floor. He made it clear to the publication that there are little doubts about his political future. “I talked to Rebecca this week, they are still interviewing people, the answer is yes,” when asked if he was certain he would be running next year.
Reid could be vulnerable in 2016, potentially facing a formidable Republican challenge from Gov. Brian Sandoval, though it is unclear whether or not he will actually run. Reid recommended Sandoval to the U.S. District Court in Nevada in 2004, and he was confirmed one year later.
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Still, a challenge by Sandoval would be formidable, said Mark Peplowski, professor of Political Science at the College of Southern Nevada. He told Western Journalism in November that although Republicans are a “poorly organized party” in Nevada, it would be very difficult to defeat Sandoval, a very popular governor who was reelected last fall:
The only thing that would seriously hurt Sandoval’s bid would be if: he screwed up [or] if a very strong woman candidate steps forward as a Democrat and runs along with Hillary. [That] could muster some moderate movement to the left.
Moreover, a Republican Lieutenant Governor – Mark Hutchison – was elected in the Silver State, meaning Sandoval does not have to worry about ceding control of the governor’s mansion to Democratic hands.
The Nevada Democrat is recovering from an injury to his right eye he suffered on New Year’s Day. He is scheduled to have a second surgery Wednesday and return to the Senate later this month after the President’s Day recess, Politico noted.