November 13, 2012
A guarded congratulations to Jim Wheeler in his victory and election as the new assemblyman from District 39. Mr. Wheeler defeated me, Gary Schmidt, and the incumbent, Kelly Kite, in a hard fought three-way Republican primary contest in June. I know Jim well and congratulated him on his victory at that time and wished him well. I was disappointed to now see that Jim, while winning the primary without taking any donations from special interests, has since taken over $30,000 in campaign donations from lobbyist and special interests. These included donations from mining and gaming almost one half of which were from Las Vegas and most of which remain unspent.
Jim’s opponent in the general election, David Schumann, the Independent American Party candidate, took no campaign donations from any special interests, is a strong fiscal conservative with a substantial educational and professional background, and received 26 percent of the vote in the general election.
This was an impressive showing for a minor party candidate. I believe this was the strongest showing in Nevada for a state race for a minor party candidate in many decades. Congratulations to David on his success.
Now that Jim has won the general election and is our assemblyman I again wish him well.
I am, however, disappointed that Jim after winning a well fought grass roots candidacy in the primary has tainted his victory in the general election by seeking and/or accepting these special interest donations. I hope this is not just the first step in becoming just another one of the “Good ol Boys” (and Girls) in Carson City.