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Reid says Democrats will field a ‘respectable’ candidate to battle Sandoval


J. Scott Applewhite / AP

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., walks to meet with reporters following a Democratic policy luncheon at the Capitol in Washington, Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014.

Updated Wednesday, Feb. 19, 2014 | 9:35 a.m.

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says the Democrats will field a "respectable" candidate to oppose Gov. Brian Sandoval but he won't reveal any names.

And he declined to say whether the candidate would come from the north or south.

Reid's remarks came on the heels of Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak announcing Monday that he will not challenge incumbent Sandoval for the governor's office in this year's election.

Reid, D-Nev., addressed various topics before an audience of reporters in Carson City on Tuesday and said he's still working on passing legislation to permit interstate poker but he opposes full-scale Internet gambling to extend across the nation.

He said groups in northern and southern Nevada support online poker expanding across state lines. That is something the Senate is still working on, he said. But it's been several years without much movement.

"I am not going to support unlimited gambling on the Internet," he told reporters.

"There is a lot of money being spent on both sides of the issue." Casino owner Sheldon Adelson has come out against national Internet gambling. "We'll see how much he's willing to do," said the majority leader.

In a 2011 address to the Legislature, Reid said Nevada should outlaw brothels, which are allowed in rural counties. Today, the senator says he maintains that position.

Reid says businesses have chosen not to relocate to Nevada because prostitution is legal here, but when asked to name three companies that have declined to move here because of brothels, he said there were a number but he would not name them.

On extending jobless benefits, Reid said the Senate came within one vote of getting it passed, and there is now "tremendous pressure" on the Republicans to go along.

On the minimum wage, he said two-thirds of women are paid minimum wage and many are supporting a family. "The rich are getting richer and the poor are getting poorer in America."

"Someone who works 40 hours should not be listed as poor," he said.

He took the opportunity to criticize Republicans on the issues of gun control, unemployment benefit extensions and minimum wage.

Asked about the upcoming election, he said Republicans could pick up some seats in the Senate but so could the Democrats.

On Nevada's system of running its own health insurance program, he praised Sandoval for starting the state system but added "Xerox screwed up." He was referring to the $75 million contact given Xerox to design and run the exchange's Internet system — Nevada Health Link — that has been plagued with problems.

Reid supports Las Vegas in its efforts to host the Republican National Convention in 2016, and he repeated he will be a candidate for re-election in two years.

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