Published Friday, Nov. 5, 2010 | 7:24 a.m.
Updated Friday, Nov. 5, 2010 | 7:24 a.m.
Rural Nevada may have been on the wrong end of the U.S. Senate race, overwhelmingly going for Sharron Angle. But in the aftermath, some rural activists wreaked revenge on the state’s most prominent GOP icon, state Sen. Bill Raggio, by pushing for his ouster as Senate leader.
The night before the venerable Raggio withdrew his name for consideration and ceded the job to Fallon’s Mike McGinness, Jim DeGraffenreid, the legislative chairman of the Douglas County Republican Party, sent out an alert:
"As many of you know, on October 8, state Senator Bill Raggio endorsed Harry Reid for United States Senate. This would have been a surprising move for any Republican, but it was particularly disturbing coming from the Republican Senate Minority Leader. This endorsement was gleefully pounced on by the Reid campaign, and was arguably a significant factor in Sharron Angle’s defeat yesterday.
"The Senate Republican Caucus is meeting tomorrow morning at 10:00 am to select their leader for the 2011 legislative session. Senator Raggio traditionally would retain his post with unanimous support, but many are questioning whether this is appropriate given his support for one of the most liberal and destructive Nevada senators.
"Senator Mike McGinness will be seeking the leadership position at tomorrow’s meeting, and I’m writing to you to ask you to contact the Senators listed below either this evening or early tomorrow morning to express your support for Senator McGinness. Senator Raggio has had a long and distinguished career as a Nevada Senator, and many of these Senators will feel pressured to support him despite the damage that his recent voting record and endorsement of our opponent has done to the Republican party. It’s important to let these senators know that they have the support of Nevada citizens to make the right choice tomorrow.
"Four Nevada counties – Churchill, Clark, Douglas and Elko – passed unanimous resolutions asking Senator Raggio to resign as minority leader, and asking the Republican Caucus to vote him out if he failed to resign. These four resolutions have been presented to all ten Republican senators, and are attached for your information.
"If you agree that Senator Raggio’s ability to effectively represent our party has been compromised, please contact these senators and let them know. Please feel free to forward this to family and friends so that they can express their support as well. Thank you!"
I have posted a couple of the rural resolutions at right. Clark County was on it, too, with the Tea Party-infused southern GOP also calling for Raggio's cashiering. I have posted that one at right, too.
The grass roots were on fire, and Raggio was immolated.