In between jousting with Republicans and hurling invective their way over the government shutdown, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada has let it be known he would be seeking re-election in 2016.
The five-term Democratic lawmaker made clear his intentions in a Politico article published this week. Having won a brutal 2010 re-election fight against tea party favorite Sharron Angle, Reid is already stepping up fundraising and building his campaign team for the 2016 contest.
And he issued a taunting challenge to his state’s Republican governor, Brian Sandoval, who seems likely to win easy re-election in 2014 and has been mentioned as a possible Reid challenger ever since he emerged as a GOP up-and-comer more than a decade ago.
“Hey, listen, if he wants to run midterm, let him,” Reid told Politico. “I would remind him and everybody else that doesn’t work very well. Anytime anyone who is a governor leaves midterm, it just doesn’t work very well.”
Reid thought he had dispatched Sandoval for good when he helped engineer his lifetime appointment to the federal bench back in 2005. But Sandoval resigned his judgeship in 2009 to run for governor and defeated Reid’s son, Rory, in the same 2010 election that featured the Reid-Angle struggle.
Nevada Republicans – whose party is a shambles – must scramble to find a viable candidate to face the exceedingly vulnerable, if cunning, incumbent. The good news for the GOP is that it has plenty of time.