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Nevada's Brian Sandoval catching fire for comments on his kids and Arizona's immigration law

July 30, 2010 |  6:43 pm

Sandoval Oops. There’s a bit of a firestorm brewing in Nevada after it was reported that Brian Sandoval, the Republican nominee for governor, told a Spanish-language television network that he wasn’t worried about racial profiling in Arizona due to the new illegal immigration law because his children don't "look Hispanic."

Sandoval, who if elected would become the state's first Latino governor, made the remark during an interview with Univision. The news director for Univision Nevada, Adriana Arevalo, wrote a biting column in response in which she detailed the exchange:

It wasn’t long ago that he said in an interview on Univision that he vehemently supported Arizona’s anti-immigrant law. In reference to the same law, he was asked how he would feel if he and his children were stopped in the street and asked for their papers. He answered, with a note of pride in his voice, “My children don’t look Hispanic.”

Sandoval, who supports the Arizona immigration law, is going to “wind up with a worse identity crisis than Sharron Angle, who was Republican, then Democrat, and once again Republican,” she wrote. Angle is challenging long-time Nevada senator and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, who is seeking reelection.

At first, Univision said it wouldn’t release the tape on the grounds that it was Univision's own work product. Now, with Sandoval saying he never uttered such a thing, the station said it’s considering posting the video (it says there isn’t any audio).

"I don’t remember saying it, and it is most certainly not how I feel," Sandoval said in a statement. "If I did say those words, it was wrong and I sincerely regret it. I am proud of my heritage and my family."

Sandoval has been accused of flip-flopping on issues such as whether to give illegal immigrants driver's licenses. In polls, he's ahead of Democratic hopeful Rory Reid, who was quick to respond to the controversy. Reid issued a release Friday saying that Sandoval, who acknowledges that he doesn't speak Spanish, doesn’t know anything about honesty “in any language."

-- Nicole Santa Cruz

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Photo: Brian Sandoval celebrates his Republican primary victory June 8. Credit: Associated Press.

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