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Dems lead in Nevada lieutenant governor, other races

Updated November 7, 2018 - 9:31 am

Democrats and Republicans split four down-ballot statewide Nevada elections in early returns, with Democrat Kate Marshall leading Republican Michael Roberson in the lieutenant governor’s race by more than five percentage points.

At 4:45 a.m. Wednesday, Marshall had 50.3 percent of the vote to 43.7 percent for Roberson. All results are unofficial.

“At the end of the day this race has been a choice between building bridges or building divisions,” Marshall said in a statement. “The people of Nevada want to find common ground and get things done.”

Marshall, 59, a former state and federal prosecutor, was elected state treasurer in 2006 and re-elected in 2010. She lost the 2014 race for secretary of state and a 2011 special election for the 2nd Congressional District.

Roberson, 48, a business lawyer and the current Senate minority leader from Henderson, is a Kansas native and 18-year Nevada resident. He was elected to the Senate in 2010, re-elected in 2014 and lost in the 2016 Republican primary for Nevada’s 3rd Congressional District.

The two candidates, both well-known in state politics, touted leadership and experience and focused beyond the narrow official duties of the office, which includes presiding over the state Senate and serving on state transportation, economic development and audit boards.

Below are results in other statewide races:

Secretary of state

Republican incumbent Barbara Cegavske led Democrat Nelson Araujo in the race to be the state’s chief elections officer and official record-keeper. Cegavske had 48.9 percent of votes with 16 of 17 counties fully reported as of 7:45 a.m. Wednesday, while Araujo had 48.2 percent. The margin separating the two was fewer than 7,000 votes.

Cegavske, 67, has served in state government since 1996, when she was first elected to the Assembly. She served three terms and then was elected to the state Senate in 2002. She held that office until running successfully for her current post in 2014.

Araujo, 31, is finishing his second term in the Assembly. He announced his candidacy in September 2017. He challenged Cegavske’s handling of a potential security gap in safeguarding business records and campaigned on expanding ballot access with same-day voter registration and expanded early voting.

Araujo released a statement congratulating his opponent about 9:15 a.m. Wednesday.

“While the results were not what we were hoping for, I congratulate Secretary Cegavske on her reelection, and wish her success as in her second term as secretary of state,” he said.

State treasurer

Early Wednesday, Democrat Zach Conine held a slight lead over Republican Bob Beers in the race to become the state’s chief financial officer. The office maintains and monitors the state budget, invests state money, manages college savings plans, tracks unclaimed property and pays state bills. With 16 of 17 counties fully tallied, Conine had 47.6 percent of the vote to Beers’ 47 percent as of 7:45 a.m. Wednesday.

Conine, 37, is a Las Vegas business consultant who has worked in the gaming industry and as an investment analyst. Beers, 59, served as a Las Vegas city councilman from 2012 until 2017. He also served three Assembly terms from 1998-2004, followed by one term in the state Senate.

Both cited their business credentials, with Conine saying his investment background qualified him to be the state’s top investment officer and Beers citing his longtime work as a CPA and in business marketing.

Controller

Incumbent Ron Knecht, a first-term Republican, trailed Democrat Catherine Byrne early Wednesday. Byrne had 50.6 percent of votes as of 7:45 a.m. Wednesday, while Knecht had 46.3 percent.

Knecht, 69, was first elected state controller in 2014. He earlier served on the Nevada Board of Regents for two terms, was a state assemblyman for one term and worked for the state Public Utilities Commission.

Byrne, 54, of Carson City, is a CPA who has worked in the state controller’s office since 2012. She earlier worked in business services for California State University, Bakersfield.

The controller is the chief fiscal officer, in charge of the state’s accounting system, settling claims, collecting debts owed the state and auditing its books for compliance.

Democrats in the four down-ballot statewide races outraised and outspent Republicans in all but the controller’s race. In two races, they did so by huge margins. Marshall raised and spent about one-fifth more than Roberson. But Araujo spent and raised more than double what Cegavske accumulated in the secretary of state’s race. Conine raised more than five times what Beers raised in the treasurer race and spent four times as much.

Contact Bill Dentzer at bdentzer@reviewjournal.com or 775-461-0661. Follow @Dentzernews on Twitter.

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