Polls show Nevada independent gubernatorial candidate Ryan Bundy — son of controversial rancher Cliven Bundy — just might collect enough conservative votes to upend the electoral hopes of Republican gubernatorial nominee Adam Laxalt this November, the Reno Gazette Journal reported.
Nevada Democratic gubernatorial nominee Steve Sisolak held a slight lead — 2 points — over Laxalt in last month's Suffolk University/Reno Gazette-Journal poll, which noted Bundy jumped to 4.2 percent support among likely voters after a 2.4 showing the previous month.
Now some are wondering if Laxalt will try to convince Bundy to drop out of the race in order to afford Nevada's attorney general a better shot at besting Sisolak, the Gazette Journal said.
Would Bundy drop out?
But Bundy told the paper Laxalt hasn’t asked that question — but if it's uttered, Bundy added that he just might agree under certain conditions.
The 45-year-old told the Gazette Journal that "for me to support Laxalt, I’d have to be confident in him that he would protect Nevada and Nevada’s people. He has failed to do that in the past, in his current position. So I say if Adam Laxalt were to come to my house, meet with me face-to-face, and bring something that would gain my confidence that he would protect Nevada and Nevada’s people, I may consider supporting him. But he’s made no effort to do so, and I have no confidence in him.”
Bundy declined to name those he said asked him to drop out of the race, the paper reported. The Laxalt campaign on Thursday declined comment to TheBlaze regarding Bundy's statements.
More from the Gazette Journal:
The rookie political candidate first rose to prominence amid a tense, heavily armed standoff with government agents at his family’s Southern Nevada ranch in 2014. He added to his national profile two years later, when he helped lead another well-armed clash with federal authorities at the seized headquarters of Malheur National Wildlife Refuge, near Burns, Ore.
A two-year jail stint stemming from that showdown only bolstered Bundy’s standing as a folk hero in some conservative libertarian circles. It also helped shore up a small but rabid voter base that’s embraced an eccentric campaign message centered around state’s rights, gun rights and bureaucracy-bashing, alongside a heavy dose of Christian-influenced constitutionalism.
Why did Bundy run?
Bundy told the paper the God is the sole reason for him entering — and remaining — in the race for Nevada governor.
“Because of what I’ve experienced and witnessed, and because there’s still some of us who were wrongfully convicted, I knelt and prayed and asked my father in heaven: ‘What can I do to put a stop to this madness?’” Bundy told those gathered at a political forum, the Gazette Journal said. “The answer came: ‘Run for governor.’”
“I don’t claim to know all the answers," he added, the paper said, "but I’ll listen to my father in heaven when he speaks, and I will protect your rights.”