‘None’ Bested Nevada Dems’ Nominee for Governor

RENO, Nev. (AP) -

As embarrassing as it was for leaders of Nevada’s Democratic Party, political analysts say they shouldn’t necessarily have been surprised that their candidate topping the ticket in November will be best known as the man who beat out seven other gubernatorial contenders by finishing second in the primary to “none of the above.”

Now, Democrat Robert Goodman, who was Gov. Michael O’Callaghan’s director of economic development in the 1970s, faces the unenviable task of taking on Gov. Brian Sandoval and his big campaign war chest.

For his part, Goodman on Wednesday was sticking to the low-profile approach that proved successful enough to win the nomination Tuesday with 25 percent of the vote, compared to 30 percent for “none of these candidates.”

The contact number on his campaign website — the same one on his campaign finance forms — apparently had been disconnected or was out of order, and he did not respond to emails sent by The Associated Press.

State Democrats also were keeping mum on their plans for how to handle his general-election race, which he begins with virtually no financial resources compared to Sandoval’s $3 million. Party spokesman Zach Hudson did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid vowed last year that Democrats would field a serious challenger for Sandoval’s seat. But all the usual suspects begged off, leaving a field of political unknowns whose campaigns were in most cases largely invisible and in others non-existent.

“None of these candidates,” a ballot selection unique to Nevada election law, finished with 15,389 votes compared to 13,473 for Goodman. Next with 6,005 votes was Stephen Frye, a retired Army doctor who wants to legalize marijuana.