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Nevada treasurer’s candidacy for governor sparks attack ads

Nevada Treasurer Dan Schwartz made his gubernatorial bid official last week, and establishment Republicans were none too happy.

Schwartz, who was elected to treasurer in 2014, attacked “pay for play” politics in the speech announcing his campaign, and said he would be an independent voice in the governor’s mansion.

On the day of the announcement, a digital and radio ad blitz attacked Schwartz as a candidate from a Republican super PAC with ties to GOP megadonors Joe Ricketts and Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson.

Schwartz’s likely primary opponent, Adam Laxalt, received $55,000 in campaign donations from the Adelson family and Sands during Laxalt’s successful 2014 bid for attorney general.

‘99 percent’ in the race

A primary battle also appears to be on the horizon on the Democratic side of the race to replace Gov. Brian Sandoval.

Clark County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani told a gathering of Democrats in Washoe County that she is “99.9 percent” in for the race.

Fellow Democrat and commissioner Steve Sisolak launched his bid for the governor’s seat last month.

Other campaign announcements

Las Vegas Police Capt. Richard Fletcher announced that he’s running for Assembly District 12 in 2018. Fletcher is a 25-year veteran of the police force and currently heads the department’s Community Engagement Section.

District 12 covers a large chunk of the eastern Las Vegas Valley, stretching from Sunrise Park to the edge of Henderson, and includes Lake Las Vegas. Incumbent James Ohrenschall, who cannot run again due to term limits, plans to run for state Senate in 2018.

Rumor mill

■ GOP senatorial candidate Danny Tarkanian, who is challenging incumbent Republican Sen. Dean Heller, is expected to get national support in the form of former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, according to the political news website Axios.

Axios reported that Bannon, through the ultraconservative online news website Breitbart and an outside pro-Trump group, is expected to support Tarkanian in his primary run to unseat Heller.

■ Former two-term secretary of state Ross Miller probably will not run for lieutenant governor after all. Miller, who told the Las Vegas Review-Journal last month that he was considering a return to politics, appears to have been passed over by the state Democratic higher-ups in favor of another candidate looking to make a comeback: former state Treasurer Kate Marshall, according to party sources.

Marshall was treasurer from 2007-15. She unsuccessfully ran for Congress in 2011 and secretary of state in 2014.

■ Attorney General Adam Laxalt’s top deputy, Wes Duncan, left the attorney general’s office Friday in a move that positions him to run for the office’s top seat in 2018.

Duncan, a 36-year-old former GOP Assemblyman, is leaving the office and will go to work for Hutchison &Steffen, a law firm headed by current Lt. Gov. Mark Hutchison.

Laxalt is expected to run for governor next year, leaving the attorney general seat open. And Duncan has said that he would run for the seat if it is vacant.

Endorsements

Sisolak snagged a trio endorsements from local labor unions last week. The Laborers Local 872, Southwest Council of Carpenters and Teamsters Local 14 all through their support behind the sitting chairman of the Clark County Commission. The three unions represent more than 15,000 Southern Nevada workers combined.

Outgoing Republican state Senate Leader Michael Roberson, who is running for lieutenant governor, was endorsed by Laxalt.

The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman and CEO Sheldon Adelson.

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

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