Monday, June 29, 2009 | 8:42 a.m.
WASHINGTON -- Greetings, Early Liners. Interior Secretary Ken Salazar will join Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid this morning in Las Vegas to announce solar energy initiatives on public lands in the West.
This is Salazar’s second visit to the state as Interior secretary. Reid and Salazar were colleagues in the Senate, and Reid continues to turn to old friends in the run up to the 2010 election.
As I wrote last week, Republicans hope to name a challenger to Reid in “coming weeks.” My colleague J. Patrick Coolican says Republican Rep. Dean Heller remains the hoped for candidate to take on Reid, with whom he has a warm relationship.
Finding a challenger to Reid has been difficult, and Republican Sen. John Ensign’s announced extramarital affair doesn’t help (nor does that of South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford.)
Not only has the timing been thrown off (what Republican would want to make a major announcement with party sex scandals all over the news?) but Ensign is not expected to play much of an immediate role in fundraising or stumping.
We looked at Ensign’s new political life last week.
The Sun’s Sam Skolnik compares the way politicians handle their sex scandals here.
Reid, a Democrat, continues to amass campaign money and has announced more Republican supporters, though party pressure is forcing some Nevada Republicans to re-consider having their name on his list.
And lastly, nothing tops off a busy week like a sit-down with the president.
That’s all for now. Check back often for all the political news in Nevada.