Steve Stuart, cash magnet

Commissioner Steve Stuart (D) doesn’t even have an opponent yet, and he’s already got more money for his 2010 re-election than Jeanne Harris (D) raised in her entire 2008 commissioner campaign.

The six-year incumbent had brought in $24,677 by Feb. 9, including at least $10,000 from local real estate and development interests, $3,200 from longtime patrons David and Patricia Nierenberg and $3,750 from folks associated with the Amphitheater at Clark County, the county-owned music venue whose rent was slashed by Stuart and his colleagues in 2008.

All the cash is no big surprise: Stuart raised what we’re pretty sure is a statewide record for a county commissioner race in his 2006 campaign against Bruce Hagensen. Stuart brought in $260,034, outspent Hagensen almost 3-to-1 and won the race by nine percentage points.

In 2005, running against current colleague Tom Mielke, Stuart set a different record: he won the most expensive county commissioner race in state history, at cost of $406,555 between the two of them.

In short: the man can do the ask like almost nobody else.

Stuart said Wednesday that he plans to have an official campaign kickoff by late March or early April. He said he doesn’t expect to raise as much as in his last two races.

“While I don’t have an opponent, I’m sure I will,” Stuart said Wednesday. “I’m never someone who would take things for granted, and I’m definitely not someone who’s going to rest on my laurels. I care a lot about what I do, I want to keep doing it, and I will work as hard to keep my job as I do in my job.”

-Michael Andersen

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