Laxalt, Giunchigliani latest to file to run for governor

Updated March 13, 2018 - 4:55 pm

Two more pieces of Nevada’s 2018 governor’s race puzzle officially fell into place Tuesday.

Attorney General Adam Laxalt, a Republican, and Clark County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani, a Democrat, filed for candidacy Tuesday morning with the Nevada secretary of state’s office in Las Vegas.

Laxalt enters the June GOP primary seen by many as the frontrunner in the race that includes Treasurer Dan Schwartz, Las Vegas bike shop owner Jared Fisher and lesser-known candidates William “Bill” Boyd, Stephanie Carlisle and Stan Lusak.

After filing, Laxalt said he believes that the economy and job growth will be key issues as candidates vie to replace Gov. Brian Sandoval.

“I hope to make Nevada the most important state in the American West, the most competitive state,” Laxalt said.

When asked about the recent decision from the Trump administration to levy new tariffs on imported goods such as solar panels, steel and aluminum, Laxalt said, “This is a tough one.”

“Typically, I’m a believer in free trade. It’s something I think is important for our country to grow economically,” he said.

But Laxalt added that he is “sympathetic to the argument that (Americans) are the ones having no tariffs and free trade and some of the other countries aren’t doing that. We’ll see if the president continues down this road.”

Giunchigliani’s filing, meanwhile, cements what is expected to be one of the state’s most competitive primaries in 2018. The battle between Giunchigliani and fellow Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak also includes political unknowns Henry Thorns and Asheesh Dewan.

Giunchigliani, who spent 30 years in education, said one issue stands out in the governor’s race.

“It’s education,” she said. “It’s fixing the education funding formula. It’s making sure the teachers have time to teach, that we adequately pay them.”

She also said she wants the state to implement more career and technical programs across Nevada.

“High schools need to prepare kids not just for college, but for the world of work. And we haven’t been doing that enough,” she said.

Horsford returns

Former U.S. Rep. Steven Horsford wants to retake the 4th Congressional District seat he lost in 2014, and on Tuesday he formally jumped into the crowded field hoping to replace U.S. Rep. Ruben Kihuen.

“Nevadans deserve better from their government than the chaos and confusion they are getting from Donald Trump and others in Washington,” Horsford said in a statement. “I’m running to represent the constituents of Nevada’s 4th Congressional District, not just as a check on this out of control White House, but as an advocate for all of us.”

Horsford, a Democrat, was elected to the seat in 2012, but lost to Republican Cresent Hardy in 2014. Hardy, who lost in 2016 to Kihuen, is also running for the seat this year.

Kihuen’s future is less clear.

After multiple women accused Kihuen of sexual harrassment in December, he said he would not run for re-election. However, Kihuen appears to be reconsidering that decision, but he has not filed.

Candidate filing period ends at 5 p.m. Friday.

Dondero Loop is back

Former three-term Democratic Nevada Assemblywoman Marilyn Dondero Loop is jumping back into the political field, announcing a run Tuesday for the state Senate seat she lost in 2014.

Dondero Loop, who served in the Assembly from 2009 to 2013, announced that she is running for State Senate District 8 this election cycle — a seat that could be pivotal to which party controls the state Senate for the 2019 Legislature.

“I am running for State Senate because I want to continue the work I began in the Assembly, like fighting to make our public schools better and working to bring good-paying jobs to Nevada,” Dondero Loop said in a statement released by the Senate Democratic Caucus. “I’m proud to be a lifelong Nevadan. I care about my community, and I am committed to making sure the citizens of our state have every opportunity to succeed.”

Dondero Loop ran for the seat in 2014 and lost to then-Republican Patricia Farley (who switched to Independent in 2016).

A second Democrat, Stephanie Alvarado, also filed for the seat Tuesday, setting up a primary against Dondero Loop.

On the Republican side, Elizabeth Helgelien and Valerie Weber, both of whom served in the Nevada Legislature (Helgelien in the Senate and Weber in the Assembly), filed for the seat last week. A third Republican, Daniel Stephen Rodimer, filed Tuesday.

Other filings Tuesday include:

U.S. Senate — Kamau Bakari (Indendepent American Party), Allen Rheinhart (Democrat)

Congressional District 1 — Joyce Bently (Republican)

Congressional District 2 — Patrick Fogarty (Democrat)

Congressional District 4 — Jeff Miller (Republican)

Lieutenant Governor — Janine Hansen (Independent American Party)

Attorney General — Stuart J. MacKie (Democrat)

Secretary of State — Ernest Aldridge (Republican)

State Assembly

District 2 — David Orentlicher (Democrat)

District 8 – Tiffany Ann Watson (Democrat)

District 11 — Gianna Miceli (Republican)

District 20 — Michael McDonald (Republican)

District 22 — Kristee Watson (Democrat)

Clark County Commission

District E — Randy Rose (Republican)

Nevada System of Higher Education Regent (nonpartisan race)

District 4 — Donald McMichael

Clark County School District Trustee (nonpartisan race)

District F — Johnny Wilson

Contact Colton Lochhead at or 702-383-4638. Follow @ColtonLochhead on Twitter.

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