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EDITORIAL: Primary election day in the Las Vegas Valley

Early voting has become so popular in Clark County that those who cast ballots during the two-week window have for years outnumbered those who wait until Election Day. Early voting ran from May 26 through last Friday for Tuesday’s primary election and attracted more than 100,000 voters.

Those who procrastinated — or prefer the more traditional voting schedule to better vet candidates — have the opportunity to express their preferences today between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. at the polling place of their choice.

Remember that Nevada is a “closed” primary state, meaning that only those registered with a major political party may participate in the selection of that party’s candidates.

Some voters downplay the importance of turning out for primaries, but there are important choices to be made — even for those not registered as Republican or Democrat. A handful of nonpartisan races — including one for a vacant seat on the Nevada Supreme Court — will be decided in the primary if one candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote.

For Democrats and Republicans, the primary process is even more vital. They will be selecting standard bearers in a variety of major contests, including races for the governor’s mansion, the U.S. Senate and the U.S. House. Nevada will play a major role in whether Congress remains in Republican hands or whether Democrats are able to win control of one or both chambers.

Also running are legislative hopefuls and candidates for certain county offices, judgeships, the Board of Regents and the Clark County School Board.

The Review-Journal has offered recommendations in a handful of primary contests.

Of particular note today is the district attorney balloting. Because no Republican filed for the office, the winner will be chosen in a Democratic primary featuring incumbent Steve Wolfson and challenger Robert Langford. While Mr. Langford, a longtime local attorney, advocates a number of reasonable criminal justice reforms, Mr. Wolfson’s experience gives him the edge in the race.

In the sheriff’s race, incumbent Joe Lombardo faces four challengers. If any one candidate earns more than 50 percent of the vote today, he will be the victor.

Mr. Lombardo has been with Metro for nearly 30 years and was elected sheriff in 2014. He was at the helm last Oct. 1, the night Las Vegas experienced perhaps its most tragic moment — and stood tall in front of the cameras as a symbol of Southern Nevada’s character and resilience. In the aftermath of the unthinkable, Mr. Lombardo represented the city and its residents with an admirable combination of dignity, resolve and human sorrow.

Mr. Lombardo has earned the confidence of Las Vegas residents. He deserves to be re-elected.

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