New Romney TV Ad Launches in Nevada

Former pro basketball player Greg Anthony is backing Mitt Romney for president in a new Nevada TV commercial.  Romney’s campaign says the commercial launched statewide Friday.

The University of Nevada, Las Vegas alum says in the ad that he voted for President Barack Obama in 2008 because he thought Obama was a centrist. Anthony says he lost faith in Obama and is now supporting Romney, who he calls “a no-excuse kind of guy.”

Anthony is a native Nevadan who played for NBA teams in New York, Vancouver, Seattle, Portland, Milwaukee and Chicago. He’s a sports analyst for CBS.

Tens of thousands of the Mormon faithful are descending on Utah’s largest city for the semi-annual general conference of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. The general conference in Salt Lake City allows Mormons to hear gospel-centered talks about faith, family and mission work from senior church leaders.

Senator Harry Reid’s office says the Senate Majority Leader will not be attending.

The conference also could be particularly festive given the upcoming presidential election, with Republican candidate Mitt Romney the first Mormon to gain the nomination from a major party. A church spokesman says it’s unlikely that Romney’s name will come up during the five church sessions this weekend.

And it was a testy first debate for two candidates running for Nevada’s newest congressional seat. Democrat Steven Horsford and Republican Danny Tarkanian faced off Thursday night.

Tarkanian slammed Horsford for proposing a tax increase while Horsford served as state senate majority leader. Horsford invoked his latest attack ad tying Tarkanian to the tea party by calling his opponent a “self-proclaimed crazy radical.” Both candidates however sidestepped direct questions on their policy plans.

The debate is the first of three scheduled in the race for Congressional District 4, which stretches across Clark, Esmeralda, Lincoln, Lyon, Mineral, Nye and White Pine counties.

In 2004, Tarkanian was the Republican nominee for Nevada Senate and lost in the general election. In 2006, he was the Republican nominee for Nevada Secretary of State and lost in the general election. In 2010 he was a candidate in the Republican primary for the U.S. Senate, finishing third behind Sharron Angle and Sue Lowden.

Third-party candidates Gary Johnson and Virgil Goode are simply blips in the presidential race, but that makes them a big deal. Johnson is a former New Mexico governor running as the Libertarian Party nominee, while Goode is a conservative ex-congressman from Virginia competing as the Constitution Party candidate.

Democratic President Barack Obama’s campaign quietly has been keeping track of the two former Republican officeholders who could prove pivotal in Nevada where he and Republican challenger Mitt Romney are in a tight race. In 2008, more than 2 million voters chose someone other than the major party nominee.

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