State Sen. Mark Hutchison, R-Las Vegas, on Tuesday won the endorsement for lieutenant governor from Nevada’s oldest Hispanic political group, beating out Assemblywoman Lucy Flores, D-Las Vegas.
In a break from previous years, Hispanics in Politics backed Republicans for all state constitutional offices except for attorney general, giving Secretary of State Ross Miller, a Democrat, the nod over Republican Adam Laxalt.
For secretary of state, Hispanics in Politics endorsed State Sen. Barbara Cegavske, R-Las Vegas, over state Treasurer Kate Marshall, a Democrat. For state treasurer, Republican Dan Schwartz was endorsed over Democrat Kim Wallin, who is now state controller. And Republican Ron Knecht, a university regent, was backed for controller over Assemblyman Andrew Martin, D-Las Vegas.
Backing from Latinos could make the difference in close races, with Hispanics making up some 17 percent of the Nevada electorate in recent elections. The battle for Hispanic endorsements this year has been intense.
The Latin Chamber of Commerce endorsed Flores, but only after U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., intervened to lobby on her behalf when the chamber had planned to offer a dual endorsement of Flores and Hutchison. Earlier this year, Hispanics in Politics endorsed for the re-election GOP Gov. Brian Sandoval.
Fernando Romero, president of Hispanics in Politics, said a large contingent of Republican members of the organization took part over two days of selecting candidates to endorse, while Democrats showed little interest.
“I was surprised and dismayed over the sparse participation on behalf of the Democratic members of our organization,” Romero said.
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