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Fiore switches races, files for state treasurer instead

Updated March 20, 2022 - 3:07 pm

CARSON CITY — Las Vegas Councilwoman Michele Fiore, who announced her candidacy for Nevada governor in October with a YouTube ad, changed her mind on Thursday and filed to run for state treasurer instead.

Fiore, surrounded by a phalanx of prominent Republicans, signed the papers in the secretary of state’s office in the Nevada Capitol on the penultimate day of filing for offices for the 2022 election. It was a similar scene in October when she announced her bid for governor at the Italian American Club.

“I’m the Republican National Committeewoman” for the state of Nevada, Fiore said as she completed her paperwork. “Together with (former President Donald) Trump’s team, we’ve looked at all the races and looked at sweeping the state. And because of my business background, with the advice of our whole team, we chose the state treasurer.”

Fiore said she made the decision to switch races “in the last few days,” adding she would say more about the change in the coming days.

“It’s an unselfish move on her part,” Nevada Republican Party Chairman Michael McDonald said. “I think we’ll have a strong slate coming in the near future that will show the Republican party is ready to take back the state.”

Fiore faced scrutiny from an FBI investigation involving subpoenas and a January 2021 raid on her Las Vegas home, but no charges have been filed against her. The brash, outspoken Republican has fired back, referring to the FBI as “forever bothering Italians” in a recent tweet.

In switching to the treasurer’s race, Fiore faces a much smaller field: Just one other Republican had filed to run against Democratic incumbent Zach Conine. A member of the Independent American Party is also in the race. By contrast, there are 15 Republicans in the primary race for governor.

McDonald said the remaining GOP candidates for governor are “all starting to define themselves.”

“Now that everybody’s filed, you’re gonna start to see the field divide and who’s actually gonna become the front-runner, and where they’re going to stand.”

Conine greeted Fiore’s entry into the treasurer’s race by recounting his record, including achieving the state’s highest credit rating in history, launching a state infrastructure bank and returning more than $136 million in unclaimed property to Nevada residents.

“Regardless of who files their candidacy for this important constitutional office, Treasurer Conine will continue doing what he has done throughout his first term: remain focused on responsibly managing the State’s finances and advancing the serious work on issues that directly impact Nevadans, such as housing stability and economic growth,” Conine’s campaign said in a statement. “He looks forward to continuing to meet with Nevadans to share all that’s been accomplished so far and to highlight the importance of keeping a qualified and proven leader in this position to ensure future fiscal stability and economic success for our great State.”

Other filings

In other Thursday filing news, attorney Sigal Chattah filed to run for attorney general as a Republican. Chattah is an outspoken opponent of Gov. Steve Sisolak’s COVID-19 policies and has criticized incumbent Attorney General Aaron Ford for not fighting them. Chattah will face attorney Tisha Black in the Republican primary. Ford will face Democrat Stuart MacKie in a primary as well.

In addition, former Clark County District Court Judge Richard Scotti joined the Republican primary for secretary of state. There are six other Republicans in that race so far, including former Assemblyman Jim Marchant and former KSNV, Channel 3, newsman Gerard Ramalho.

This article was updated to clarify that an FBI raid on Michele Fiore’s Las Vegas home happened in January 2021.

Contact Capital Bureau reporter Bill Dentzer at bdentzer@reviewjournal.com. Follow @DentzerNews on Twitter. Contact Steve Sebelius at SSebelius@reviewjournal.com. Follow @SteveSebelius on Twitter.

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