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GOP In-Fighting Plods On, But Why?

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Even after the legislative session ended, the in-fighting between Republicans continues.

Nevada’s Legislature only meets every two years. But a lot can happen in between.


On Tuesday, longtime Republican Assemblyman Pat Hickey of Reno announced he won’t run for another term.

That might be no surprise, because Hickey has been targeted by some Republican colleagues for being too moderate.

"It kind of gets old after awhile to be part of a moderate faction in the Assembly where people are constantly saying you are not a real Republican," Las Vegas Review-Journal columnist Steve Sebelius told KNPR's State of Nevada.

Sebelius characterized Hickey has a thoughtful man with a lot of experience as a policy maker.

"I think someone of his caliber could serve if he wanted to," Sebelius said, "The fact that he doesn't want to tells you a lot about the process and about some of the problems we face in Nevada."

Hickey faced off with other members of his party during the past legislative session and publicly criticized some. However, Sebelius said Hickey was simply responding to criticism thrown his way first.

Some of the forces who blasted Hickey for his moderate stance on taxes are also working to repeal part of the tax package passed by legislators. 

Sebelius said the effort "does have a chance to succeed." 

Because of the number of signatures needed to get the petition before voters and the amount of time they have gather those signatures, Sebelius believes they have a strong chance.

And, because of Nevada law, the columnist said, "all the repealers have to do is get it on the ballot and they win."

Under Nevada law, even if the voters reject the ballot measure and the taxes stay in place, the tax law cannot be changed unless it goes before voters again. 

Sebelius also believes there is a good chance that Democrats will retake control of the Assembly during the 2016 election. 

"You're looking at 2014 as a fluke, as an outlier. I don't think that will be repeated maybe ever in the history of Nevada"

Steve Sebelius, political columnist, Las Vegas Review-Journal

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Joe Schoenmann joined Nevada Public Radio in 2014. He works with a talented team of producers at State of Nevada who explore the casino industry, sports, politics, public health and everything in between.