Amodei ‘torn’ between gubernatorial bid and possibly serving in GOP majority, will make decision this month
Rep. Mark Amodei (R-NV) said he is still undecided about possibly running for governor as he considers concerns about the economy and the possibility of serving in a House GOP majority following the midterm election.
“I’ll be honest with you, I’m torn,” Amodei said in an interview Friday, when asked which way he is leaning.
He said the situation in Nevada had calmed somewhat since the pandemic slammed the state costing jobs and tax revenue.
“If you run for governor, you’ve got to come with something other than … ‘Hey, I don't like the way [Gov. Steve Sisolak] handled COVID,’” Amodei said. “If you think we can do better, you’ve got to have a fairly intelligent platform on how.”
Amodei, who first floated the idea of a 2022 gubernatorial bid in December, has in recent months seen a broad slate of serious candidates join what’s likely to be an extremely competitive Republican gubernatorial primary. Announced candidates so far include former U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo, Reno attorney Joey Gilbert, businessman Guy Nhora and North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee.
But Amodei believes the economy is not doing as well as it could, hampered, in part, by the Democratic-led Congress and its spending efforts. In March, Democrats passed a $1.9 trillion package with no GOP support and have plans to spend more — including another $3.5 trillion social safety net package that has fueled Republican and some Democratic attacks warning of an inflation crisis.
“That economy thing, the jury's still pretty much out on that right now because it definitely isn't headed the right way,” Amodei said.
House Republicans are optimistic about taking back the majority after the 2022 midterm election, which historically tends not to favor the party in the White House. Serving in the House majority would give him a perch to help craft policy to trim federal spending.
He said he plans to announce his decision in the last week of October, but plans to take the next two weeks — when the House is scheduled to be in recess — to take stock.
“That’s the point in time to say, ‘Okay, let's sit down, sort all this out,’ even if it's like on a yellow pad and draw a line down the middle,” Amodei said.
“All of my suppositions at the end of this month could end up being trash, but I also think you owe a duty to basically say what you're doing because there's other people that are interested,” he continued.
He said he’s glad he is taking his time to decide, noting there are still about six months until the filing deadline. Candidate filing in Nevada opens on March 7, 2022.
“I absolutely do not regret taking this time because quite frankly, the huge rush, you know, everybody's in, blah, blah, blah, and all that stuff in the summer still strikes me as ‘okay,’ I missed the upside of that,” Amodei said. “But, you know, maybe that's why I'm not a high paid political consultant.”