Rogers to make announcement this week
August 22, 2005
CARSON CITY – University Chancellor Jim Rogers says he’ll end speculation about his political plans on Wednesday.
Rogers, a multi-millionaire Las Vegas businessman who is chancellor of the university system, has been rumored to be planning a run for governor for several months. He has refused to say what his plans are but made waves on several occasions with comments such as his blunt criticism of Rep. Jim Gibbons.
Gibbons is the Republican front-runner who will formally announce his candidacy at the end of the month.
Rogers told viewers of the cable news program “Las Vegas One” in July that Gibbons doesn’t have great leadership qualities and “I don’t think he’s very bright.”
His description of Gibbons to a Las Vegas Sun reporter the following day was: “He’s very narrow-minded. He’s very simplistic.” He said he didn’t believe Gibbons could handle the job effectively.
In response to the criticism he received for those comments, Rogers – a lifelong Republican – changed his party registration to nonpartisan a couple of weeks later. He seemed to suggest at that time he was considering running as an Independent.
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If he chooses to do so, fund raising won’t be an issue. Rogers is a multimillionaire who owns 98 percent of the stock in Sunbelt Communications – the corporation which operates NBC affiliate TV stations in 10 communities including Reno, Las Vegas and Elko.
He followed the voter registration change by creating a Political Action Committee he said would be dedicated to education issues, including challenging those he regards as anti-education.
Rogers is a longtime Las Vegas resident. He graduated from Las Vegas High School in 1956 and received his law degree from the University of Arizona.
He was named interim university chancellor late last year and was formally named chancellor of the system by the Board of Regents in May.
Rogers scheduled his announcement on the governor’s race for 9 a.m. Wednesday at the Stirling Club in Las Vegas.