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.