Thanks a bunch, Rick

Nevada Republicans who have been planning to make more of their presidential caucuses next year heard nothing good when former U.S. Sen. Rick Santorum jumped into the race with a statement that his preparations did not include Nevada.

The state party didn’t do much to promote the 2008 caucuses, considering them a Democratic affair whose early date—the first presidential nominating event after Iowa and New Hampshire—had been engineered by Democratic Senate floor leader Harry Reid. Nevertheless, rank and file Nevada Republicans turned out in big numbers.

This time around, the state party wants attention for the caucuses but has been fighting a perception that the state is already locked up for candidate Mitt Romney, the 2008 winner in Nevada. That could discourage other candidates from entering the Nevada caucuses.

In his announcement of candidacy on June 6, Santorum said his early preparations for the race had “a heavy emphasis on Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina.”