Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2011 | 7:53 a.m.
Rep. Shelley Berkley, reached before she boarded a plane to Washington, DC, told me this morning the indications that Rep. Dean Heller will get into the U.S. Senate race will not change her calculus.
“Dean Heller will be a very formidable candidate no matter what he runs for,” Berkley said. “But as I said before, my opponent will not be a deciding factor. I am seriously looking at the Senate seat.”
Berkley said she has talked to Sen. John Ensign and “he realizes he’s going to have a very tough race. But he believes his conservative credentials are enough to win re-election. He believes that’s what campaigns are for.”
Don’t expect Berkley to make a decision before summer unless something pushes her to – perhaps something like a majority leader or a Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee. I doubt anyone will make a move until she does.
I asked Democrat Byron Georgiou, the super-rich guy who is believed to be ready to write a check for millions to run in the race, if he is in. His clever response: “Stay tuned.”
Actually, I prefer other channels, including perhaps the one Secretary of State Ross Miller is on. Or any other constitutional officer who wants a free ride (still think Treasurer Kate Marshall is most interesting of all of them in some ways.)
With the Senate race, the early presidential primary and perhaps three (!) open congressional seats, looks like 2012 in Nevada may be as much fun as 2010 was.