Failed congressional candidate Niger Innis on Monday dropped his bid to contest the June 10 Republican primary election results, saying “it’s time to move on,” although he remains suspicious about how a little-known candidate managed to win one-fifth of the vote without campaigning or spending money.
Innis said he also spoke Monday with Assemblyman Cresent Hardy, R-Mesquite, to congratulate him on his GOP victory in the 4th Congressional District. Hardy will face U.S. Rep. Steven Horsford, D-Nev., in the Nov. 4 general election.
Hardy won the Republican primary with 42.63 percent of the vote, followed by Innis with 33.12 percent and Mike Monroe with 22.11 percent, a strong showing for the spoiler who likely siphoned off votes from both of the top two finishers. A fourth GOP candidate, Carlo Poliak, got 2.14 percent of the vote.
After the results were in, Innis, a civil rights advocate and frequent talk show guest, refused to concede and said he might ask Nevada Secretary of State Ross Miller to investigate to determine how Monroe, a handyman, got so many votes.
Innis said his campaign team conducted its own investigation and found no Republicans who voted for Monroe, including in tiny rural Esmeralda County, which Monroe won with some 40 percent of the vote.
“We maintained election night, and continue to do so today, that the vote total for Mike Monroe appeared highly unusual,” Innis said in a statement. “For a relatively unknown to not campaign, not spend money nor to make any effort whatsoever to campaign, and then receive over 22 per cent of the vote, should make even the most experienced political observer question the process.”
Despite his skepticism, Innis said Miller told him he would have to come up with compelling evidence of wrongdoing or flaws in the election machines to launch an official probe and the candidate said it’s not worth the money to pursue it.
“As much as I’d like to continue, and I still believe in my heart that the vote tabulations are flawed, it’s time to move on,” Innis said in a statement.
Monroe has said he can’t explain his strong showing, although he ran for Congress twice before, in 2006 and 2010.
The little-known candidate likely got votes from Nevadans who didn’t want to choose Hardy or Innis, but didn’t have the option to pick “none of these candidates,” which is available on the ballot in statewide races. The CD4 district covers seven counties, including Clark County, which Hardy won and where three-quarters of the district voters live.
One politically active GOP voter, Tom Grover, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal he voted for Monroe as a protest.
Election officials, including Miller, have not reported any irregularities in the June 10 primary election.
Contact Laura Myers at email@example.com or 702-387-2919. Find her on Twitter: @lmyerslvrj.