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Campaign 2018: Sandoval won’t back candidate in Nevada AG race

It has become well known that the term-limited Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval has no plans to endorse any candidate in this year’s race for governor.

But, there is at least one other major statewide race that the popular governor is avoiding: attorney general, where Republican and former Assemblyman Wes Duncan and state Senate Democratic leader Aaron Ford are facing off.

“I’m not taking a position in that race,” Sandoval told the Review-Journal on Tuesday.

But while he isn’t publicly supporting a candidate for the seat he held from 2003 to 2005, Sandoval heaped praise on both of the top candidates.

“I worked with Sen. Ford, and my experience with him has been very positive,” Sandoval said. “He’s a very committed public servant.”

The governor called Duncan, who spent one term in the Assembly, “a hardworking person that I was impressed with as well.”

“Positive things to say about both candidates, but I’m not going to get involved in the race,” Sandoval added.

Sandoval, a Republican, made an endorsement in the 2014 attorney general’s race when he backed Adam Laxalt for the seat.

Sandoval has endorsed two candidates, both Republicans, running statewide campaigns: U.S. Sen. Dean Heller in his re-election bid against Rep. Jacky Rosen and state Senate Minority Leader Michael Roberson, who is running for lieutenant governor against former state Treasurer Kate Marshall.

This summer Sandoval announced that he wouldn’t endorse a candidate in the race between Laxalt and Democratic Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak , a move seen as a blow to the Laxalt campaign. In previous interviews, Sandoval said he wouldn’t support a candidate who would “seek to undo” to the work he and his administration have done.

Political odds?

Betting on elections is banned in the United States, but that doesn’t stop oddsmakers from weighing in where the bets are legal.

Online sportsbook BetDSI this week released betting odds on all 33 U.S. Senate races. And in Nevada, BetDSI gives the nod to Democratic challenger Jacky Rosen in her bid to unseat incumbent Republican Dean Heller, with Rosen at -225 and Heller at +150 odds.

For non-gamblers, let’s say you you bet $100 on each candidate.

If Rosen won, that $100 bet would amount to a $44.44 win, for a total payout of $144.44 (your original bet plus the amount won). And if Heller won, that same wager would net you another $150, for a total payout of $250.

BetDSI also gave odds on which party will control the U.S. Senate. The sportsbook had Republicans retaining the chamber as the heavy favorite, at -680 as opposed to +350 for Democrats taking control.

Races still tight

A new NBC News/Marist poll shows Heller and Rosen in a dead heat with less than a month before the Nov. 6 election.

Heller, the only Republican senator running for re-election in a state Hillary Clinton carried in 2016, got support from 46 percent of likely voters, while Rosen received 44 percent. He continued to lead his Democratic challenger by 2 percentage points when the matchup was expanded to include Libertarian Tim Hagan.

The race for governor between Sisolak and Laxalt is also neck and neck.

Laxalt received support from 46 percent of likely voters, compared with 45 percent for Sisolak. Laxalt’s advantage grew by 4 points when Libertarian Jared Lord was added to the mix.

The poll has a 5.5 percentage point margin of error for likely voters.

News and notes

■ The North Las Vegas Alliance of Homeowner Associations and Concerned Citizens is hosting a candidate meet-and-greet from 6 to 8 p.m. Monday at Sun City Aliante in North Las Vegas. At least 30 candidates are expected to participate, according to Alliance Secretary Jeff Alpert.

■ Former Vice President Joe Biden endorsed Sisolak in the governor’s race on Wednesday. Biden, in a statement, said that Sisolak “knows the value of hard work and is all about standing up for families.”

■ New Mexico Republican Gov. Susana Martinez will be in Las Vegas on Thursday to support Laxalt in his bid for governor. The event starts at 5 p.m. at the Nevada GOP field office in Summerlin, 3200 Soaring Gulls Drive, suite 102. Go to www.eventbrite.com/e/volunteer-rally-phone-bank-kickoff-with-governor-susana-martinez-tickets-51224704470 for tickets.

—The National Association of Home Builders endorsed Heller in his reelection bid, saying he is a champion of housing.

— Assemblyman Nelson Araujo, who is vying to unseat Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske, released two new TV ads. The first ad shows Araujo’s mom working as a housekeeper for 32 years so he could graduate college and the second ad focuses on the power of voting.

— The Human Rights Campaign’s Equality Votes PAC launched a $2 million ad campaign targeting Heller and a handful of other “anti-equality candidates in key swing states,” the group said. The ads will run in Nevada and six other states.

■ The BattleBorn Conservative Women PAC endorsed Deputy District Attorney Mary Kay Holthus, who is running for Clark County District Court judge.

Contact Colton Lochhead at clochhead@reviewjournal.com or 775-461-3820. Follow @ColtonLochhead on Twitter. Contact Ramona Giwargis at rgiwargis@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4538. Follow @RamonaGiwargis on Twitter.

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