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These Lombardo donors were with Sisolak … until he lost

Updated January 25, 2023 - 4:04 pm

Out of $3.7 million Gov. Joe Lombardo raised in the last fundraising quarter between Oct. 1 and Dec. 31, almost $2 million was donated after he won the general election in November.

Much of those donations came from companies that had never donated to his campaign before, hoping to curry favor with the newly elected governor ahead of the 2023 Legislature.

Many casinos that had not donated to Lombardo gave sizable donations to his campaign after Nov. 8, including Aria, Bally’s, Bellagio, Boyd Social Gaming, Harrah’s, Flamingo, Luxor, Mandalay Bay, MGM, New York-New York, Paris Las Vegas, Planet Hollywood, Rio and The Venetian, according to Lombardo’s fourth-quarter contributions and expenses report. Wynn Resorts also gave a large donation for the first time; but Andrea Wynn, the wife of former gaming executive Steve Wynn, donated to Lombardo’s campaign in 2021. Also, the nongaming property Vdara donated to the campaign for the first time.

Lombardo got at least $80,000 from companies affiliated with MGM Resorts International after the election; before November, the company had donated exclusively to former Gov. Steve Sisolak. Many of the casinos that donated to Lombardo for the first time after he won had previously donated to Sisolak, including casinos such as the Aria, Bally’s, Harrah’s, Paris Las Vegas, The Venetian, Flamingo and Rio, also donated to Sisolak before Lombardo’s win.

Lombardo also received first-time donations from Nevada’s major utility companies after he won his election, including Cox, Southwest Gas Corporation and NV Energy. Mining companies and associations that previously did not seem interested in donating to Lombardo’s campaign hopped on the bandwagon after Nov. 8, such as Nevada Gold Mines LLC and Nevada Mining Association Inc. Before his win, Cox, NV Energy and the Nevada Mining Association donated only to Sisolak.

Juul Labs, the nicotine company, never donated to Lombardo during his governor’s campaign, but after he won, it donated $10,000. A paid lobbyist for Juul Labs, Lesley Pittman, also made a first-time donation of $500 to Lombardo in December 2022.

Lombardo also received first-time donations from convention centers, renewable energy organizations, insurance companies, beverage and beer associations, animal hospitals and Native American tribes in Nevada after he won the election.

The Greater Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce BizPAC, which is funded by contributions of chamber members, also donated $10,000 after Lombardo was declared the winner. The chamber endorsed Sisolak for re-election.

Lobbyist Andrew MacKay, who works for Nevada Franchised Auto Dealers Association, for the first time donated $250 in December to Lombardo’s campaign.

Contact Jessica Hill at jehill@reviewjournal.com. Follow @jess_hillyeah on Twitter.

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