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Reports show fundraising edge for some Nevada legislative candidates

CARSON CITY — Final campaign finance reports filed by Friday’s deadline show some legislative incumbents enjoying a money-raising edge, but other races indicate close contests or seats on the verge of being flipped.

It’s hard to say whether last month’s special legislative session hindered sitting lawmakers from raising money. Under state law, they were prohibited from fundraising for 15 days after the session ended on Oct. 14. That left them only five days to solicit the dollars reflected on latest reports.

But lawmakers also had advance notice on when the session would begin, giving them time to raise money before it started Oct. 10.

Republicans are trying to hold on to a slim 11-10 majority in the Nevada Senate, where the race for Senate District 6 in Southern Nevada could decide control after Tuesday’s election.

Republican Assemblywoman Victoria Seaman is up against Democratic candidate Nicole Cannizzaro for the open seat. Seaman reported raising $14,146 during the abbreviated reporting period for funds raised from Oct. 15 through Nov. 3. For the year, she reported $301,000.

Cannizzaro reported $25,560 in the last period, for a yearly total of $414,694.

Republicans have targeted Senate District 5, held by incumbent Democratic Sen. Joyce Woodhouse, D-Las Vegas. Campaign records show Woodhouse this year has out-raised her Republican opponent, Carrie Buck, by more than 3-to-1. Woodhouse raised $25,767 in the last week for a yearly total of $507,895. Buck reported $16,600 for the period and $140,725 for the year.

In Northern Nevada’s open Senate District 15, Republican Heidi Gansert raised $154,946 in the last period and $579,423 for the year. Her Democratic rival, Devon Reese, reported $22,924 for the period and $415,559 for a yearly total.

Control of the Assembly is also at stake Tuesday. Republicans took control of the lower chamber in the “red wave” election of 2014 that gave them a 25-17 majority. The GOP is hoping to maintain that majority, though success is not certain.

One key race pits incumbent Assemblyman David Gardner, R-Las Vegas, against Democratic contender Steve Yeager. Gardner reported $26,251 raised in the last period. More than half — $15,000 in three separate donations — were from companies controlled by Las Vegas Sands Corp. Another $5,000 was from New Nevada PAC, a political action committee affiliated with Gov. Brian Sandoval and Republicans.

Gardner’s total for the year was $137,901.

Yeager reported $16,111 for the period, with $6,500 coming from Nevada Leadership Team, a Democratic PAC. He raised $195,051 for the year.

Assemblyman Derek Armstrong, R-Henderson, reported $21,118 raised in the last period, bringing his total to date to $239,768. Democratic candidate Ozzie Fumo reported $12,954 for the period and $215,512 total.

Assemblyman Stephen Silberkraus, R-Henderson, outpaced Democrat Lesley Cohen, who is trying to reclaim the Assembly District 29 seat. For the year, Silberkraus reported $221,252 to Cohen’s $129,283.

Incumbent Assemblyman James Oscarson, R-Pahrump, reported $258,543 for the year. The latest report for brothel owner Dennis Hof, a Libertarian challenging Oscarson, was not posted on the secretary of state’s website Saturday. But Hof’s previous report showed he raised a total of $60,106, most of it self-funded.

In Assembly District 8, Jason Frierson is trying to retake the seat he lost in 2014 to John Moore, a Republican who has since changed his affiliation to Libertarian. Frierson reported $334,466 in contributions for the year, nearly four times the $84,499 reported by Moore. Norm Ross, the Republican candidate, reported $20,194 raised year-to-date.

The Review-Journal is owned by the family of Sheldon Adelson, chairman and CEO of Las Vegas Sands Corp.

Contact Sandra Chereb at schereb@reviewjournal.com or 775-461-3821. Follow @SandraChereb on Twitter.

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