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1145Carter's son may run for Senator

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  • Greg Cannon
    Oct 8, 2005

      October 06, 2005

      Reid: Jack Carter a viable candidate against Ensign

      RENO, Nev. (AP) - Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., would
      support Jack Carter if he runs for the Senate in
      Nevada next year and thinks he would have a shot at
      unseating Republican Sen. John Ensign, Reid's press
      secretary said Thursday.

      Reid, the Senate minority leader, and Carter, the
      oldest child of former President Jimmy Carter, spoke
      by phone earlier this week before Carter announced
      he's seriously considering challenging Ensign, who's
      seeking a second term in 2006. Carter plans to meet
      with Reid's staff next week.

      Carter and his wife, Elizabeth, have lived in Las
      Vegas since 2003, operating an investment consulting

      "Obviously, Sen. Reid would like to see a Democrat get
      in the race," Reid spokeswoman Tessa Hafen said. "He
      thinks Jack would make a good candidate. If he decides
      to run, he'll have (Reid's) support."

      Ensign has anticipated a tough race from the start but
      knows little about Carter, Ensign spokesman Jack Finn

      "(Ensign) has said all along he'll prepare for a
      topflight opponent and that's what he's doing," Finn
      said. "We have a good campaign team in place."

      Reid and Ensign have forged a close relationship after
      a hard-fought 1998 race that Reid won by 428 votes.

      Having opposite-party senators who work well together
      has helped the state fight the proposed Yucca Mountain
      nuclear waste dump, get public lands bills and protect
      the gambling industry.

      But Hafen noted that Ensign endorsed Richard Ziser,
      Reid's Republican challenger in 2004. Reid handily won
      re-election to a fourth term.

      "(Reid and Ensign) do have a good relationship and
      they work well together, but they come from different
      parties," Hafen said. "Their relationship won't change
      should an opponent get in the race against (Ensign)."

      Asked whether Reid would help Carter raise money and
      assist him in other ways, Hafen replied, "A lot of
      that would be up to Jack. (Reid) would help Jack how
      he could."

      Carter, son of Jimmy and Rosalynn Carter, was born in
      Virginia and raised in Georgia. He was in his late 20s
      when his father won the presidency and did not live in
      the White House.

      Carter, 58, cited unhappiness with the federal
      government's handling of Hurricane Katrina as a reason
      for considering the race.

      He describes himself as a social liberal with
      conservative Southern roots and a business background
      that taught him fiscal responsibility.

      "(Reid) is glad Nevada is Jack's home," Hafen said.
      "He knows him to be a devoted family man, successful
      business person and active in the community."