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Campaign 2018: Nevada recall efforts will be heard in court

Two recalls targeting Democratic state senators will come to a head this week when a District Court judge hears arguments about the validity of the efforts.

A slew of arguments relating to the two recalls that started in August are scheduled to be heard Wednesday. The crux of the hearing is likely to be whether to count several thousand requests from people asking for their signatures to be removed from the recall petitions.

The recalls efforts of Sens. Joyce Woodhouse and Nicole Cannizzaro are key in Republicans’ attempt to retake control of the state Senate, as the Democratic seats up for election this year are unlikely to flip.

In both recalls, the petition groups narrowly eclipsed the needed signature thresholds to push the efforts to special elections. Nevada law, however, allows the opposing side two weeks to challenge the effort and gather signatures from people who want their names stricken from the original recall petitions.

Democrats submitted more than 2,000 such petitions in each effort. If counted, both recalls would likely miss the signature threshold.

Recall backers, however, say that counting forms submitted after the initial petition is filed violates the Nevada constitution.

Clark County District Judge Jerry Wiese is set to hear the case at 10 a.m. Wednesday in courtroom 14a.

And the night before the arguments are set to be heard, Woodhouse and Cannizzaro are slated to hold a joint campaign fundraiser at Makers & Finders in Downtown Las Vegas.

Voter registration

Republicans gained a little more ground in the statewide voter registration gap in January, registering 2,516 new voters compared with 1,863 new Democrats, according to statistics from the Nevada Secretary of State’s office.

Another 2,010 Nevadans registered as Nonpartisan in January, as well as 360 new Independent American Party members.

The voter registration gap has shrunk to 75,000, with January marking the seventh consecutive month of Republicans outpacing their Democratic rivals in signing up new voters.

But what that means for the November general election is hard to say. Both parties are ramping up efforts to bolster voter registration.

In January 2016, for example, the registration gap was 48,000, but by November Democrats had extended it nearly 89,000. In that election Democrats swept key races across the state including the president, U.S. Senate, two competitive congressional races and regained control of both chambers in the Nevada Legislature.

News and notes

After raising just over $5,000 in the third quarter of 2017, Amy Vilela, a progressive Democrat running in Nevada’s 4th Congressional District, saw a nearly tenfold uptick in campaign donations in the final quarter of 2017. Vilela’s campaign reported raising roughly $51,000, with $3,500 coming as from a loan from Vilela. Other Democratic candidates fileed for candidacy after Jan. 1 and did not report any campaign fundraising.

Veterans in Politics is hosting a fundraising Valentine’s Day Ball on Feb. 10 at the Plaza Hotel and Casino from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m.

Democratic CD-3 candidate Susie Lee was endorsed by the Nevada Building and Construction Trades Council.

Republican Attorney General candidate Wes Duncan received endorsements from the Teamsters Local 14 and Laborers Local 872.

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

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