66°F
weather icon Clear

Adam Laxalt, Steve Sisolak will vie to be Nevada’s next governor

Updated June 13, 2018 - 1:33 am

RENO — After a bitter, record-expensive primary battle, Steve Sisolak emerged Tuesday as the Democratic Party’s nominee for Nevada governor.

The Associated Press called the race at 9:16 p.m. With 100 precincts reported early Wednesday, Sisolak defeated fellow Clark County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani by a margin of 50 percent to 39 percent. On the Republican side, Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt cruised to the GOP nomination after garnering more than 71 percent of the votes.

“I believe our next governor needs to be bold. You have to get things done; you have to deliver,” Sisolak told supporters at a campaign party Tuesday night at the Aria. “Let’s work together. Give me a chance to earn your vote and your trust.”

Sisolak, who announced his candidacy almost exactly one year ago, initially cast himself as the moderate in the race for the Democratic nomination. That changed once Giunchigliani entered the race last fall.

Sisolak has the backing of influential former U.S. Sen. Harry Reid and also managed to gain the support of progressive Democrat Rep. Dina Titus, and he came in with a massive campaign cash advantage over Giunchigliani. He spent an unprecedented $6.5-plus million in the brutal battle, in which the two traded barbs with a plethora of attack ads.

The attacks turned deeply personal once the television ads starting airing this spring, with Sisolak launching criticisms invoking Giunchigliani’s late husband, Gary Gray. Sisolak slammed Giunchigliani for payments made from her previous campaigns to Gray for campaign consulting.

“I’m not going to pretend that this was an easy race. It was tough and long,” Sisolak said. “And while Chris and I have had our differences, and we aired them out on the public airways, we both agree on one thing: Nevada families cannot afford to let Adam Laxalt become our next governor.”

The candidates agreed on most major issues, such as increased gun control. Giunchigliani keyed on Sisolak’s early campaign comments, and the race quickly became about which candidate could prove to be the more loyal progressive for the Democratic base.

And despite more than $3 million spent from outside groups Emily’s List, a national group dedicated to getting progressive women elected, and the support of the Nevada State Education Association, Giunchigliani was unable to overcome the sheer force of Sisolak’s campaign coffers. Sisolak spent more than four times what Giunchigliani’s campaign did.

At her campaign watch party at the Bunkhouse Saloon in downtown Las Vegas, Giunchgiliani was upbeat, laughing and joking during her speech to supporters after the race had been called.

“This has been an incredible run. You always have to look forward. We can’t afford to look backwards,” she said. “I had so much fun on this campaign. I had the best team. I’m blessed.”

About halfway through the last day to cast ballots in the Nevada primary election, Laxalt received a major endorsement from President Donald Trump via tweet.

But with his closest competitor, state Treasurer Dan Schwartz, having received only 9 percent of the vote and quickly conceding, Laxalt hardly needed the boost.

In his victory speech, Laxalt quickly turned his attention to the general election, saying that whoever emerged as the Democrats’ nominee would bring higher taxes and more regulations, which he said are “strangling” small businesses.

Laxalt, who was the youngest attorney general in the U.S. when he was elected in 2014, told the crowd gathered in a Reno event hall that either Democrat would be “a corrupt career politician who failed to solve any problems.”

“My opponent will be someone who puts political favors above Nevada interests,” Laxalt said.

Contact Capital Bureau reporter Colton Lochhead at clochhead@reviewjournal.com or 775-461-3820. Follow @ColtonLochhead on Twitter. Staff writers Katelyn Newberg and Mia Sims contributed to this report.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Politics Videos
Bernie Sanders Unveils Affordable Housing Plan - Video
Bernie Sanders sits down with the Las Vegas Review-Journal to talk about his new affordable housing plan he unveiled at Plumbers & Pipefitters.
Jim Marchant talks gun control and Dreamers - Video
Republican Candidate for District 4 Jim Marchant talks about gun control and immigration policies. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Hurricanes, Gender, and Science in the Press
Imagine if the mainstream media’s current hurricane-sized obsession with scientific accuracy applied to gender.
Cory Booker on college tuition and minimum wage
Cory Booker talks on the RJ Politics podcast about college debt, informing workers about their rights and livable wages.
Nevada Politics Today: Teacher raises - VIDEO
Jason Goudie, the chief financial officer for the Clark County School District, talks about teacher pay and raises. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Media's Double Standard On Incitement And Trump - Video
Over the weekend, an Elizabeth Warren-supporting socialist who opposed gun violence used a rifle to commit a mass murder in Dayton, Ohio. The media has downplayed that aspect of the tragedy.
Project Our Care Tour Kicks Off In Las Vegas
U.S. Rep. Dina Titus joined health care advocates and local residents as part of Protect Our Care’s nationwide bus tour kick off in Las Vegas on Monday, August 5, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Bernie Sanders talks about guns, response to El Paso shooting
Sen. Bernie Sanders spoke about his response and continued policy ideas about guns and gun control to the Review-Journal after a panel of other topics. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Pete Buttigieg On Gun Control And Climate Change - Video
Pete Buttigieg talks about his campaign for the 2020 election and how Nevada is a vision of what the future can be.
Beto O'Rourke speaks in Las Vegas
Presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke spoke to supporters at the East Las Vegas Community Center in Las Vegas, Thursday, Aug. 2, 2019. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Former Nevada Senate leader Kelvin Atkinson sentenced to prison
Former Nevada Senate Majority Leader Kelvin Atkinson, who pleaded guilty to misusing campaign funds, was sentenced to 27 months in prison on Thursday, July 18, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Trumps Strength is also a Weakness - Video
One of Donald Trump’s greatest strengths — his ability to shape national narratives — is also a great weakness.
Tax the Rich Bus Tour makes a stop in Las Vegas - Video
The Tax the Rich Bus has stopped in Las Vegas as part of its summer tour. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Assemblywoman Daniele Monroe-Moreno hosts BBQ - Video
Assembly Woman Daniele Monroe-Moreno hosts BBQ to bring the community together to hear about the candidates up for election and for people to gather and have fun.
Democrat Virtual Caucus - Video
Elizabeth Warren visits Las Vegas
Senator Elizabeth Warren made a campaign stop at the East Las Vegas Community Center on Tuesday July 2, 2019. (Mat Luschek / Review-Journal)
Aaron Ford Speaks About Bill AB431
AB431 is a bill sponsored by Nevada Assembly Speaker Jason Frierson to restore the right to vote for formerly incarcerated individuals. Attorney General Aaron Ford spoke at the AM&E Church in North Las Vegas about the bill, on Monday, July 1, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
THE LATEST