Carter's son may run for Senator
October 06, 2005
Reid: Jack Carter a viable candidate against Ensign
By MARTIN GRIFFITH
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
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."