Senator John McCain
Republican heavyweight and potential presidential candidate John McCain was in Reno on Saturday.
A Tailhook Reunion brings the Arizona Senator to the Biggest Little City, an event which is a military gathering for the Navy. But he's also in town for a Republican Fundraiser.
His visit is expected to generate $100,000 towards the local party.
But Associate Professor of Political Science Erik Herzik says there's more to it than that...he says McCain's stop will serve three purposes.
One...to encourage Republican leaders to move their caucus earlier in the calendar year, to match what the Democrats did last month.
Two: to drum up more interest from Democrats and Independents, who are undecided about who to vote for as President, and like McCain's views on immigration and taxation.
And three...and probably the most important reason...to get name recognition for the Republican Party, which will boost local get-out-the-vote efforts.
McCain last visited Reno two years ago, when he was assisting with the Bush-McCain campaign. Both he and George W. Bush received a rousing ovation at Rancho San Rafael Park during their local addresses that year.
The impact this visit brings is very important...if McCain does run for President in 2008, Nevada is expected to be a key state in the race for the White House...and political strategists say this is just the beginning.
They predict a slew of presidential hopefuls to visit Reno over the next year. And interestingly, whomever Nevada has carried in the last three presidential races, has won the election. Case in point...Bush won the Silver State by just three percentage points in 2004.