Nevada Primary Tees Up Battle Ground Governor and Senate RacesTop Stories

June 13, 2018 10:25
Nevada Primary Tees Up Battle Ground Governor and Senate Races

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Nevada voters delivered easy primary election wins Tuesday to Republican Sen. Dean Heller and his Democratic opponent Jacky Rosen while teeing up a November battle for the governor's mansion between the chairman of a powerful Las Vegas-area council and the state attorney general.

Steve Sisolak, who had the backing of former U.S. Sen. Harry Reid and chairs the powerful council overseeing the Las Vegas Strip, overcame a bruising Democratic primary against his Clark County Commission colleague Christina Giunchigliani.

The race got combative, with an attack ad alleging Giunchigliani "single-handedly protected perverts" because of changes she made to a sex offender bill in the Legislature a decade ago.

Giunchigliani, a 63-year-old former state legislator and teacher who earned backing from Hillary Clinton and the women's group Emily's List, struck back with a campaign ad saying she was sexually abused as a child.

"I am not going to pretend that this was an easy race. It was tough and long," Sisolak said in his victory speech at the Aria casino-resort on the Las Vegas Strip. "While Chris and I have had our differences - and we aired them out on the public airwaves - we both agree on one thing: Nevada families cannot afford to let Adam Laxalt become our next governor.

Speaking to her supporters at a cowboy-themed saloon in Las Vegas after her loss Tuesday, Giunchigliani said she'll work with Sisolak to defeat Laxalt. But her concession speech wasn't conciliatory.

"You think you're progressive? You damn well better be progressive," said Giunchigliani, who had criticized the 64-year-old Sisolak for having once received an "A-" rating from the National Rifle Association and holding moderate positions in the past. "There's a lot of positions now that have been taken in this campaign, so we need to make sure we hold anybody accountable because, as a Democrat, you have to show up and you'd better start standing for something."

Nevada is one of 26 Republican-held governors' offices up for grabs this year and one of eight where Clinton won the presidential vote over Trump in 2016. The incumbent, moderate GOP Gov. Brian Sandoval is term-limited.

By Lokesh

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