Republican ex-Rep. Cresent Hardy says he’s considering running for the Nevada congressional seat he lost last year to embattled Democratic Rep. Ruben Kihuen, who’s facing an allegation of sexual harassment and calls to resign.
Hardy told The Nevada Independent on Wednesday that people are continuing to “push me very hard to reconsider” his decision, announced in July, that he wouldn’t run in the 2018 election cycle.
“I continue to get a lot of people requesting that I would run again, so I just said I’m considering, try to think about it, pray about it,” he said. “That’s what I have to do — get myself in the right position to do it for the right reasons.”
Kihuen’s future is murky after Buzzfeed reported allegations on Friday that the freshman congressman had made unwanted advances toward a 25-year-old campaign staffer during the 2016 cycle. Democratic leaders including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi and Ben Ray Lujan, chairman of the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, have said that Kihuen should step down in light of the allegations.
Kihuen has resisted those calls, saying on Wednesday that he was not resigning, although he didn’t directly answer whether he would run for re-election.
If Kihuen resigns, the governor must call for a special election proclamation within seven days of a congressional seat being vacated. The proclamation sets out several requirements for the special election, including that it must be held within 180 days after the election is called for, and requires the election be held on a Tuesday.
Unlike with a typical House election, the special election doesn’t include a primary election for candidates of both major political parties. Instead, the central committees of each major party nominate a candidate. Minor political parties and individuals can also qualify for the ballot if they collect the signatures of 100 eligible voters in the district and fill out a declaration of candidacy form ahead of time.
Although Republican Las Vegas City Councilman Stavros Anthony is already in the race for Nevada’s 4th Congressional District, an election held sooner than November 2018, and the special nominating process by the state central committee, could lead to a different nominee.
Hardy said he’s talked with Anthony and said he supports him, but noted that he’s still considering possibly entering the race himself.
“It was a privilege to serve. My family is important right now. The interest is not as high as it has been,” Hardy said. Still, “when people ask you to do something you’re supposed to consider it and give it the best you can.”
Reporter Michelle Rindels contributed to this story.