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Nevada governor candidates air dueling ads before early voting

Updated May 25, 2018 - 9:27 pm

The top two Democrats running for governor released dueling ads on Friday, one day before early voting begins in the hotly contested primary.

Clark County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani unveiled an ad listing the “differences” between herself and Steve Sisolak — slamming her fellow commissioner for meeting with Republicans, waffling on Planned Parenthood and opposing marriage equality.

Sisolak also released an ad Friday touting a major endorsement from former U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, who says Sisolak will be “one of the best governors we’ve ever had.”

The competing ads — released within hours of each other — are the latest salvos in a heated primary season that featured the two candidates pulling out all the stops to prove they are the most liberal.

Giunchigliani’s new 30-second ad begins with her sitting next to an empty podium with a purple Sisolak campaign sign.

“There are lots of differences between me and Steve Sisolak,” she begins, looking directly into the camera. She says Sisolak makes “pro-choice speeches now” but has limited a woman’s right to choose, met with the GOP about running for office as a Republican, opposed marriage equality, voted to build 5,000 houses at Red Rock and got an A rating from the National Rifle Association.

“You deserve a Democrat for governor who actually is one,” Giunchigliani concludes.

Sisolak’s 15-second ad begins with Reid, who recently underwent surgery to remove a tumor from his pancreas, calling President Donald Trump “a bully” who likes to push people around.

“As governor of the state of Nevada, Steve Sisolak will not allow anyone, including Donald Trump, to push him around,” Reid says. “He will be one of the best governors we’ve ever had.”

Political experts say the fight between Giunchigliani and Sisolak reflects a growing rift in the Democratic Party.

“You knew that was coming, particularly when Chris G. jumped into the race,” said Eric Herzik, chairman of the political science department at the University of Nevada, Reno. “I’m surprised it got so personal so fast, and that came initially from Steve Sisolak. I thought it was an odd approach to go after Chris G.’s deceased husband — particularly when one of the comebacks was, ‘Hey, if it was so bad, why did you hire him?’”

Herzik said the dueling TV ads show how close the race really is.

“There is no reason to hold back any of your resources now,” Herzik said. “They’re now all in.”

Contact Ramona Giwargis at rgiwargis@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-4538. Follow @RamonaGiwargis on Twitter.

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