In a fairly anticlimactic finish to a topsy-turvy primary season, Steve Sisolak (D) is edging past fellow Clark County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani (D) and will earn the right to challenge Attorney General Adam Laxalt (R) for Governor (NV-Gov) in the general election. Though Giunchigliani bested Sisolak in Washoe County, it probably won’t be enough to overcome Sisolak’s commanding lead in their shared Clark County geographic base.
It’s a similar story in the 4th Congressional District (NV-04), where former Rep. Steven Horsford (D-North Las Vegas) survived his primary and earned the right to get a rematch against former Rep. Cresent Hardy (R-Bunkerville) this fall. Instead, it’s Hardy who ended up with the tougher primary fight on his hands.
We have more details below, including the primary results in Nevada’s other key races.
Sisolak hangs on, despite last-minute surge for “Chris G”
With a majority of the votes in (as in, the early votes), we can safely say that Steve Sisolak will emerge as the Democratic Gubernatorial nominee. As many political observers suspected, the Democratic vote split along geographic lines. Down here in Clark County (Metro Las Vegas), Sisolak is leading by a comfortable 22% in the early vote. But in Washoe County (Reno/Sparks area), Giunchigliani is posting a 12% lead in their early vote. And in a contest featuring two Las Vegas politicians, rural Democrats are splitting the difference.
The Republican side is even less dramatic, as Adam Laxalt is winning his primary with just over 70% of the vote. Though his victory was expected, we at least wanted to see what his margin would look like. As of tonight, it’s somewhere between “meh” and “Oh!”
Horsford and Lee cruise to Democratic nomination, as Tarkanian tops crowded Republican field
Even though I and many others were bracing ourselves for a long night, possibly even a(nother) historic upset, we’re instead seeing Steven Horsford cruise to a huge primary victory. However, NV-04 is still surprising us… Just on the Republican side, where Cresent Hardy is winning his primary with an underwhelming 45% so far against a group of low-profile challengers.
As expected, Rep. Jacky Rosen (D-Henderson) and U.S. Senator Dean Heller (R) survived their respective primaries with ease and will move onto the general election. Both are receiving just over 70% in their respective parties, which was foreseen long ago on the Democratic side… But only became a reality on the Republican side when President Donald Trump pushed perennial candidate Danny Tarkanian out of the Senate race (NV-Sen) and into the 3rd Congressional District (NV-03).
Also as expected, philanthropist and public education advocate Susie Lee (D) will face Danny Tarkanian in the general election here in my home turf that is NV-03. Tarkanian’s Republican challengers have managed to score a combined ~57% in the early vote, but since Nevada operates under “winner take rules, that doesn’t matter. And for all the talk of “Democrats in disarray” because of the “establishment v. progressive insurgent civil war”, Rosen’s and Lee’s easy primary victories casts further doubt on an already shaky and stale media narrative.
Other noteworthy races
For all the focus on the Democratic drama in the NV-Gov and NV-04 primaries, perhaps the most immediately impactful primary is the one for Clark County District Attorney. Here, incumbent Steve Wolfson is leading challenger Robert Langford by a decent 58-42% margin. Criminal justice reform advocates were hoping for a different result, but at least they can say they made some waves at Regional Justice Center in a way that we typically don’t see here.
Meanwhile in the strange case of Assembly District 36, incumbent Assembly Member James Oscarson (R-Pahrump) is leading by just over 6% with Clark and Nye Counties’ early votes recorded. Oscarson is still facing blowback for supporting Governor Brian Sandoval’s (R) revenue-raising tax reform plan, and this time he’s had to contend with world-renowned brothel owner Dennis Hof and the question of the future of legal sex work in Nevada.
And that’s all, folks… At least for now. I’ll have more analysis on all the big developments tomorrow. I might also have a ratings change in my new forecast. Stay tuned.