Nevada: Daskas Shakes Up Race, Won’t Take on Porter

Posted April 28, 2008 at 6:35pm

Former Clark County prosecutor Robert Daskas (D) shocked Southern Nevada race watchers Monday when he unexpectedly withdrew his name from a much-hyped matchup against 3rd district Rep. Jon Porter (R).

In a brief statement, the Daskas campaign cited “family considerations” as the reason for Daskas’ sudden departure from a contest that had been targeted by national Democrats as a key pickup opportunity in a district that Porter narrowly held in the 2006 cycle.

“The Daskas campaign has every confidence that another strong, viable candidate will enter the race and unseat incumbent Jon Porter,” the statement read. “Daskas thanks everyone for their support and asks supporters to stay focused on the common goal of changing our representative in the Third Congressional District.”

The statement went on to cite the 22,500 voter registration advantage that Democrats currently hold over Republicans in the rapidly growing district, which is based in the Las Vegas suburbs.

Not surprisingly, Republicans took the news Monday as a testament to Porter’s strength.

Although Daskas already had an opponent in the Democratic primary — Andrew Martin, a wealthy businessman who is an East Coast transplant and a newcomer to politics — the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee was moving Monday to draft state Senate Minority Leader Dina Titus into the race. Titus, the 2006 Democratic gubernatorial nominee, is one of the party’s best-known commodities in the state, and she turned down DCCC entreaties to enter the 3rd district race before Daskas got in.

“Dina Titus would be an excellent candidate with unparalleled experience and support from people in Nevada’s 3rd Congressional district,” DCCC Chairman Chris Van Hollen (Md.) said in a statement Monday. “Her vision, strength, and ability to get things done for Nevada would make her a powerful voice for change.”

National Republican Congressional Committee spokeswoman Julie Shutley said Monday afternoon that Porter “will be ready no matter who the Democratic candidate is in November.”

Through March 31, Porter had more than $1 million in his campaign account.

— John McArdle