Sandoval's latest appointment: The Hispanic Recovery Project continues

It’s time to start keeping track of these baby steps.

As Gov. Brian Sandoval returns to his centrist ways in all things, from taxes to immigration, he is sending signals that he is not the same guy who ran to the right of a corpse named Jim Gibbons in 2010. Two years plus after embracing the Arizona law (SB1070), Sandoval is starting to reach out to the Hispanic community – and he did it again Monday with the announcement of Brian Ayala’s appointment to the Nevada Commission on Tourism.

Ayala is no ordinary Hispanic businessman. He is part of a longtime family business – Ayala’s, Inc. – that has concessions at the airport. He has been active in the Latin Chamber of Commerce. Oh, and he’s a Democrat.

Not just any Democrat, either. His family business backed Rory Reid against Sandoval. Ayala also is part of a new Latin Chamber PAC.

So the governor has plucked a politically active Democrat with influence in the Latin Chamber for a state appointment? Nicely done.

I honestly don’t think Sandoval is scared of a challenge from fellow Hispanic and Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto. But the best anointments are the ones that dissuade people from running. There’s a book about that.

We can argue whether Sandoval is shamelessly pandering or recognizing demographics or sincerely committed. We won’t know that answer until we see some of his 2013 policies on issues important to the Latino community. But, as I previously reported about a post-election fundraiser with Hispanic business types, Sandoval gets it.

Ayala, by the way, was at that money event.