Jon Porter’s Next Challenger

Next year’s potential candidates for Nevada’s 3rd Congressional District are considered in a recent Congressional Quarterly piece. Republican Jon Porter has held the seat since it was created after the 2000 census. Last year his Democratic challenger was Tessa Hafen who ran strongly in her first race but came up short with 46.6% of the vote against Porter’s 48.5%. The really neat thing that Hafen did, though, was marry that summer in the Las Vegas Temple. A very optimistic thing to do: marrying in the middle of a congressional campaign may seem tough, but if she had swayed a couple thousand more voters, her schedule would have only become busier.

Back in 2002 when the seat was first open, the Democratic candidate was then-up-and-coming Dario Herrera. In the middle of his campaign, he was baptized into The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, the religion of his wife. He became mired in scandal and lost soundly. This year he began serving a four year sentence in federal prison for accepting bribes from a San Diego strip club owner while serving as a county commissioner. Those bribes had been passed on to him by Lance Malone, a Republican, former county commissioner, former policeman, former Mormon missionary, and teenage convert to the Church. Malone began last month serving a six year sentence in federal prison.

The only announced Democratic candidate running for Porter’s seat in 2008 so far, Andrew Martin, is a homosexual, but he’s courting the Mormon vote. According to CQ, Mr. Martin “already has been reaching out to Mormon leaders and says he is confident that they will ‘care more about the platforms of the candidates’ than their personal lives.” Well, we’ll see how that goes. Rory Reid is also said to be considering a campaign for the seat. Rory is a son of Harry Reid, a BYU alumnus (BA in International Relations, ’85; JD ’88), and currently serves as a county commissioner.

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About John Mansfield

Mansfield in the desertA third-generation southern Nevadan, I have lived in exile most of my life in such places as Los Alamos, Baltimore, Los Angeles, the western suburbs of Detroit, and currently the northern suburbs of Washington, D.C. I work as a fluid dynamics engineer. I was baptized at age twelve in the font of the Las Vegas Nevada Central Stake Center, and on my nineteenth birthday I received the endowment in the St. George Temple. I served as a missionary mostly in the Patagonia of Argentina from 1985 to 1987. My true calling in the Church seems to be working with Cub Scouts, whom I have served in different capacities in four states most years since 1992. (My oldest boy turned eight in 2004.) I also currently teach Sunday School to the thirteen-year-olds. I hold degrees from two universities named for men who died in the 1870s, the Brigham Young University and the Johns Hopkins University. My wife is Elizabeth Pack Mansfield, who comes from New Mexico's north central mountains and studied molecular biology at the same two schools I attended. We have four sons, whose care and admonition, along with care of my aged father, require much of Elizabeth's time. She currently serves the Church as Mia-Maid advisor, ward music chairman, and choir director, and plays violin whenever she can. One day, I would like to make shoes.

5 thoughts on “Jon Porter’s Next Challenger

  1. If it’s soap opera you like, here’s some more. The younger Brother Reid is the chairman of Hillary Clinton’s Nevada campaign. From the Las Vegas Sun back in February:

    When Rory Reid told his father, U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, that he would be chairman of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign in Nevada, the elder Reid felt a minor political headache coming on.

    “It would have been easier for me if he kept his powder dry,” the Senate majority leader said. “I said, ‘Well, I guess I’m going to have to talk to those senators if that’s what you’re going to do.'”

    In deciding to work with Clinton, Reid might have discomforted his father. But he understands the need to be seen as his own man.

    Ironically, it is his close relationship to his father that allows him to be so bold in showcasing their differences. For example, he spoke of his father this way when talking to the local media earlier this week: “I don’t tell him what to do in Washington, and he doesn’t tell me what to do in Nevada.”

    Few Democrats would speak so bluntly about Harry Reid, who for all practical purposes is the Democratic Party in Nevada.

  2. Who wants to bet that most Mormons in that area would vote for a crooked Republican over a gay Democrat?

  3. I’d like to see Ms. Hafen make another run for it. Of course, I live 2500 miles from the 3rd Nevada, but that won’t stop me wishing.

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