“You can say my 15 minutes are over,” Jason Geddes says with a smile. He’s one of the three G’s (Geddes, Dawn Gibbons and Josh Griffin) who broke with the Republican Assembly Caucus last year to support Gov. Kenny Guinn’s tax program. He also became one of the few casualties of that dispute when he lost his GOP primary election. He had been seen as a rising star in the party, only to experience an early end—or at least postponement—to his legislative career.
Since the primary, have you been involved in politics at all?
I haven’t been involved in any of the races except helping out a couple of people—[small counties Republican legislator] Pete Goicoechea, talking to him a lot—and then finding a home for the bills and BDRs [bill drafting requests] that I dropped prior to the primary that I still want to see carried and passed through the legislature.
What are those?
There’s a couple of clean-up bills for some bills I had last session. …The energy/water conservation/retrofit bill needs a few more tweaks to it. Then there are some dealing with wind energy, mental health.
As you look back on the experience, how do you feel about it?
I’m still trying to get some distance from it, but I had a great time down there. It was everything I’d dreamed it would be. I mean, just going over the issues that affect us every day in society and trying to solve them. I mean, that’s exactly what I wanted to do.
There was a point where you and Gibbons and Griffin were basically let know that you really shouldn’t meet with the caucus anymore. How did you feel about that kind of shunning?
I didn’t take it too personally, actually. I mean they were working on a strategy to get to the point that they were trying to get at, and since we had pointed to a different point, they didn’t think we should be part of that strategy. I counter-argued that I thought anybody who wasn’t going to vote for any portion of the tax package should also be out of the room because they weren’t looking for any sort of compromise, just an absolute holdout. But, you know, it’s the process. It’s what it is.
Did you get negative feedback?
Oh, yes. I was getting about 200, 300 e-mails a day. …When I was able to isolate out all the generic e-mails and e-mails from Las Vegas and out of the area and was looking at Washoe County, the emails I got were 64 to 36 in support of the position I took. I believe I represented my constituents well on the issue.
Do you have any regrets?
I have no regrets about anything I did in the legislature, as far as a decision or a vote. I did what I thought was best for the future of the state and my son, given the cards we were dealt. The only regrets I have is in the campaign—I didn’t explain that to the voters enough, as to what brought me to that decision.
Are you planning to do it again?
I’m not sure yet. I’m still sitting back and trying to figure out what the defeat meant. Was it the issues, was it me, was it my policies, why did I lose, and will it change enough for me to get back in, and do I want to sacrifice that much to get back in again? One thing that never got debated and discussed is how much of that tax package was from the previous legislature. Look at my case and some others—there’s a whole bunch of freshmen who had a burden dropped in their lap that the returning people handed to us. And the punishment fell on the freshmen.