The Burns pitch: I've got the cops, the AG and a former sheriff

Yes, Joe Lombardo, the half-million-dollar man, has to be considered the favorite to succeed Clark County Sheriff Doug Gillespie.

Or is he?

As I perused a brochure for his fellow Gillespie administration colleague, Larry Burns, this week, I wondered whether this could be a fascinacting matchup between insiders. (Dissident former Gillespieite Ted Moody will only be a factor if he continues to pour money into the contest.)

Here's what I find interesting and the brochure illuminates:

►He claims to have 91 percent of the cops. If so, consider this: When was the last time someone supported by the rank and file lost a race for sheriff? Doesn't happen.

►While Lombardo has Gillespie and ex-Sheriff Bill Young, Burns has former Sheriff Jerry Keller. Most people don't remember ex-sheriffs, but I sense Keller is ready to get back into the hurly burly of the campaign to help Burns.

►The most significant endorsement is from the state's highest law enforcement officer, Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto. She has a gushing quote in the brochure, and I chatted with her Tuesday to gauge her real backing. Not only did she reinforce her support, Cortez Masto reiterated several times Burns' embrace fo community policing. But more interesting, when I told her I didn't recall her using her position to endorse candidates, she said I was right, that she is conscious of that and could only recall endorsing two others: Washoe County Sheriff Mike Haley and DA Dick Gammick.

Burns, who is about $400,000 behind Lombardo in fundraising, is scheduled to be on "Ralston Reports" on Jan. 31 Lombardo was on last month and Moody on in September.