There are other prospective women candidates for governor, though none have been as clear about their intention to run as Titus and Hunt.

Barbara Buckley: She’s one of the state’s smartest and ablest politicians; no one doubts Democrat Buckley’s ability to govern, nor has she played the north-vs.-south card. She doesn’t raise hackles the way Titus does, and she has a Hallmark-style family.

Drawbacks: When she accepted the post of Democratic floor leader, it curbed her effectiveness as a legislator, keeping her inside limits defined by the party’s needs and saddling her (like Titus) with a nastier partisan image.

Dawn Gibbons: She said if hubby Jim runs for governor, she’ll run for his congressional seat. Might that work in reverse? In some ways, this Gibbons candidacy makes more sense than the other Gibbons candidacy. DG knows state government much better than JG does—particularly the budget, which she learned line by line while sitting on the Assembly budget committee. She has owned and operated her own businesses; he hasn’t. Her views are less extreme than his. And she did much of the organizing spade work for most of his campaigns.

Drawbacks: She is chronically (and incorrectly) pegged as a dumb blonde, and she could inherit her husband’s enemies.

Pat Mulroy: The head of the Southern Nevada Water Authority has relatively high—and favorable—name recognition because of her battles with public utilities, always a crowd pleaser. (In September 2002 Nevada Power president Pat Shalmy backed out of public debates with Mulroy.)

Drawback: She has declined to run for office in the past, even when offered high-level sponsorship by Harry Reid, and hesitancy is a failing in this game.

Dennis Myers was the news editor of the Reno News & Review. He was a journalist for more than four decades. In 1987-88 he was chief deputy secretary of state of Nevada. He was coauthor of Uniquely...