Big endorsements begin in Nevada governor race |

Big endorsements begin in Nevada governor race

The Associated Press

LAS VEGAS – Three Las Vegas Strip casino executives are among a group of Republicans backing Senate Democratic Majority Leader Harry Reid in his bid for a fifth term, while the nation’s self-professed toughest sheriff says Nevada voters should fire Reid.

Harrah’s Entertainment public policy chief Marybel Batjer (BATCH’-er) is on a list of 25 Republican supporters released by Reid’s campaign on Wednesday. MGM Resorts International marketing executive Bill Hornbuckle and senior spokesman Alan Feldman are also named.

Reid is in a tight race with Republican Sharron Angle.

He’s touting a list of more than 100 Republican supporters as part of an ongoing campaign to label Angle as “too extreme.”

Angle’s campaign says many more Republicans want to show Reid the door. Reid blames GOP policy for Nevada’s economic woes.

Angle blames Reid for troubles in Nevada’s tourism-based economy, but also garnered the Arizona’ sheriff’s endorsement through her policies on immigration.

Joe Arpaio, the longtime Arizona county sheriff known for confrontational tactics in his efforts to combat illegal immigration, told The Associated Press on Wednesday that he supports Republican challenger Angle because Washington, D.C. , needs new leadership.

“I don’t know too much about her,” he said in telephone interview. “When I am in Vegas, I am sure not going to endorse Harry Reid.”

Angle is among his many fans, and has said every state needs a lawman like Arpaio, who has dubbed himself “America’s toughest sheriff.” Arpaio said he appreciates her confidence in his work.

The pair are scheduled to speak at the National Tea Party Convention in Las Vegas in October. He said he’s looking forward to meeting Angle and would give her his formal endorsement if she asked for it.

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