Nevada campaign manager blames candidate's loss on 'difficult year to be a man'

A campaign manager of a failed judicial campaign in Nevada wrote that his candidate lost because it was a “difficult year to be a man and defeat a woman.”

David Thomas wrote in a letter that Mark Bailus’s loss to his female opponent, Mary Kay Holthus, was a result of the political climate, The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported Friday.

“The defeat was not by any means the fault of Judge Bailus, but more due to the political climate of the 2018 elections,” Thomas wrote. “Despite Judge Bailus’ great commitment, he could not overcome the pattern that occurred in all major judicial races between a man and a woman in 2018.”


Bailus, 66, was an incumbent appointed by former Gov. Brian Sandoval (R) to serve on Clark County District Court bench from May 2017 until the term expired last month, the newspaper noted.

The letter was included in Bailus’s application to be considered by current Gov. Steve Sisolask (D) to fill a different vacant seat.

“It was an extremely difficult year to be a man and defeat a woman in a judicial race,” according to Thomas’ letter.

The letter obtained by the newspaper noted “societal factors” that influenced the election in November, including the Women’s March, the #MeToo movement and the contentious Senate confirmation hearings for U.S. Supreme Court Justice Brett KavanaughBrett Michael KavanaughWant to evaluate Donald Trump's judgment? Listen to Donald Trump Kavanaugh conspiracy? Demands to reopen investigation ignore both facts and the law On The Money: Yellen to Congress: Raise the debt ceiling or risk 'irreparable harm' | Frustration builds as infrastructure talks drag MORE.

Thomas wrote that Bailus attended events during the course of his campaign “where primarily only women were present" and was told that “they could not vote for him.”

The Las Vegas Review-Journal noted that when a reporter reached out to the Nevada Supreme Court, which organizes a judicial review board to send three finalists' names to the governor, Bailus had the letter removed from his application file.

Bailus did not return the newspaper's request for comment. 

Thomas said in a Friday statement that he was not saying Holthus’s victory was only a result of her gender, saying Bailus’ defeat was more due to the political climate than his failure.”

“Holthus did receive a significant bump that gave her the lead over Bailus in my polling and I was not able to come up with an effective plan to turn around that bump in the 3 short weeks available to me. I take responsibility for not being able to overcome the political climate, it was not Judge Bailus’ task to develop that strategy,” the statement reads. “Many people can conclude that without the bump Holthus would not have won. That conclusion makes no judgment of Holthus or her abilities or her campaign efforts.”