Campaign 2018: Pence critic to run for Nevada Controller

Catherine Byrne, a Carson City Democrat and CPA, announced her campaign for Nevada controller last week, making her the first announced challenger to incumbent Republican Ron Knecht.

“Nevada needs experience and passion for public service in their next controller, and it’s my mission to respect hardworking Nevadans by ensuring our tax dollars are accurately accounted for and spent wisely,” Byrne said in a statement.

Byrne, whose son serves in the Air Force, made national headlines in August 2016 after she was booed and heckled by the crowd at a campaign rally in Carson City headlined by Mike Pence.

She asked Pence how he could support Donald Trump after Trump had made controversial comments about the family of Capt. Humayun Khan, who died from a roadside bomb in Iraq in 2004.

At the time, Pence was the Republican vice presidential nominee and Trump was the GOP nominee for president.

Byrne also announced endorsements from Democratic lieutenant governor candidate and former state Treasurer Kate Marshall and former Controller Kim Wallin.

A new contender

The race to fill the County Commission seat of governor hopeful Chris Giunchigliani, who is term-limited, is quickly heating up.

The only other announced contender, state Sen. Tick Segerblom, will face off with fellow Democrat Marco Hernandez, a union leader who has worked in the service-casino industry.

Hernandez has raised $46,000 in his bid for District E.

According to his website, Hernandez is an immigrant who grew up in the district.

Running for re-election

Republican Rural Whip Assemblyman John Ellison announced that he’ll seek re-election, but he faces a primary challenge.

Ellison will face off in the June primary with term-limited Elko Mayor Chris Johnson, who also announced his candidacy last week. Ellison ran unopposed in the last three elections.

Since 2010, Ellison has served the rural, conservative District 33, which covers Elko, Eureka, Lincoln, and White Pine counties. Ellison has championed causes related to veterans and public lands.


A pair of Democratic candidates for statewide offices each snagged an endorsement from the Professional Fire Fighters of Nevada last week. The group, which represents 1,850 active and 100 retired members, will support Senate Democratic Leader Aaron Ford and Assemblyman Nelson Araujo in his bid to unseat Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske.

Democratic gubernatorial candidate and Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak was endorsed by the Electrical Workers Local Union 357.

Contact Ramona Giwargis at or 702-380-4538. Follow @RamonaGiwargis on Twitter. Contact Colton Lochhead at or 702-383-4638. Follow @ColtonLochhead on Twitter.

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