Nevada Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki (R) announced Thursday evening that he will not run for Senate against Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.).
“I have decided with great joy that I will be seeking re-election as lieutenant governor of Nevada and I will not be a candidate for U.S. Senate at this time,” Krolicki said in a conference call with reporters.
Krolicki’s entry into the race would have roiled the crowded GOP primary further — and he instantly would have been one of the Republican frontrunners — but his absence doesn’t do much to clarify the existing field.
“I think we would have had a very competitive campaign,” he said. “But at the end of the day looking at my family and the needs of those in Nevada and just how the alignment and the arrows were going … running for re-election as lieutenant governor is the most important thing I can do.”
Asked what sort of encouragement he received from national Republican leaders to look at the Senate race, Krolicki said that “this due diligence process … started and ended in Nevada.”
He said he was also flattered by encouragement he received from outside the state and said he had conversations with National Republican Senatorial Committee Chairman John Cornyn (Texas), though he declined to detail the nature of conversations he had with Senators and whether Cornyn or others urged him to run.
Krolicki added that he believes there “are several individuals who can beat Harry Reid” in what he called the “Republican scrum” of candidates already looking to win the nomination.
He cited former state Sen. Sue Lowden, Las Vegas real estate developer Danny Tarkanian, investor John Chachas, and state Sen. Mark Amodei as candidates he respects.
Several public polls have shown Lowden, Tarkanian and former state Assemblywoman Sharron Angle leading Reid in hypothetical matchups.
“I think there will be someone rising to the top,” Krolicki said. “I think that process needs to be allowed to happen.”