Jon Ralston, political reporter
It looks like Republicans will be running a Sandoval-Hutchison ticket in 2014. Yesterday, State Sen. Mark Hutchison announced that he’ll be running for the Republican nomination for lieutenant governor, and shortly thereafter, Gov. Brian Sandoval tweeted his endorsement.
Political pundit Jon Ralston talked to us about why the governor made the pick, and what exactly a lieutenant governor does:
Why did Sandoval tap Hutchison?
I think he did it for a couple of reasons. First, he wants a strong candidate near him at the top of the ticket and to work with assuming that the governor is reelected, and someone he can trust as a reliable number two. But secondly, it keeps his options open. Two years into his term, if he decides he wants to do something else, run for the U.S Senate, take a federal appointment, he knows he is leaving the state in what he believes are capable hands.
How has Hutchinson distinguished himself?
He got rave reviews from almost everybody up in Carson City and when I say almost everyone I mean Democrats, Republicans, lobbyists, everyone who came into contact with him gave him credit for smarts, for his earnestness, for his work ethic. Rarely has there been a freshman who impressed so many across the board as Hutchison.
What does a lieutenant governor do?
Almost nothing. The lieutenant governor is essentially charged with presiding over the state senate, which is generally a ministerial function, except in very unusual circumstances ... with (Gov. Sandoval) taking away most of the economic development duties of the lieutenant governor, which Brian Krolicki delighted in using, there isn’t really much for the lieutenant governor to do.