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Battle for obscure Nevada office all about 2016

Battle for obscure Nevada office all about 2016

CREATED Aug 14, 2014

LAS VEGAS (AP) -- Normally a lieutenant governor's race doesn't draw much attention. But Nevada insiders are captivated by the contest between Republican State Sen. Mark Hutchison and Democratic Assemblywoman Lucy Flores.

That's because the battle could be a proxy fight for the 2016 election, when Republicans hope the state's popular GOP governor, Brian Sandoval, challenges Democratic Sen. Harry Reid. The state's lieutenant governor would replace Sandoval.

The governor personally selected Hutchison to run on the Republican ticket. Reid is backing Flores. She's a former gang member who straightened out after doing time in juvenile detention, went to college and then law school.

It's unclear whether Sandoval would run in 2016. He is cautious and conflict-averse. But he is popular enough that he faces no real Democratic opposition in his re-election campaign this year.