GOP Overlooks Nevada's Sandoval Despite Need for Latino Appeal

Image: GOP Overlooks Nevada's Sandoval Despite Need for Latino Appeal

Thursday, 15 May 2014 12:28 PM

By Melanie Batley

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The Republican Party, despite wanting to broaden its appeal to Latino voters, has overlooked GOP Gov. Brian Sandoval of Nevada for higher office, the Los Angeles Times reported.

One explanation, according to the Times, may be mutual disdain: Sandoval, Nevada's first Latino governor, has repeatedly demonstrated his unwillingness to tow the party line, having supported legal abortion, embraced Obamacare and dropped the state's legal fight against same-sex marriage.

"On paper, he's just right out of central casting for the kind of image the party needs," John Weaver, a Texas-based GOP strategist, told the Times.

But a prominent conservative strategist in Las Vegas says Sandoval's ideological positions are simply not vote getters.

"Why choose someone like that?" Chuck Muth told the Times. "Because you need to make inroads with Hispanics?"

Sandoval has also failed to garner national attention or stimulate interest among conservative donors and activists and has expressed a disinterest in higher office.

Conservatives are also unforgiving that he broke a campaign pledge to roll back a 2009 tax hike, according to the Times.

For his part, Sandoval doesn't hold back from openly criticizing the GOP for taking a rigid approach to issues such as abortion, taxes, and Obamacare.

"It's something they've seriously got to think about," he said of the current GOP doctrine. "We've seen what's happened in the past elections."

Sandoval said that if Republicans want to broaden their national appeal, they need to be more pragmatic.

"They need to show kind of what they used to talk about," Sandoval said, according to the Times. "I think it was Reagan who said [it], about the 'big tent.'"

Related Stories:
Sandoval Says He's Happy in Nevada Despite Push to Challenge Reid
Nevada Governor Slams Feds in 'New Ruby Ridge' Battle



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