Posts Tagged ‘primary’

Tarkanian Wins 4th Congressional GOP Race, Lee Upset By Democrat Challenger In State Senate 1 In Nevada Primary

By Sean Whaley | 11:02 pm June 12th, 2012

CARSON CITYDanny Tarkanian narrowly beat out state Sen. Barbara Cegavske in the 4th Congressional District GOP primary today, surviving a tough challenge in the contest to see who will face Democrat state Sen. Steven Horsford in the November general election.

4th Congressional GOP candidate Danny Tarkanian.

The son of former UNLV basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian, Tarkanian overcame bad publicity surrounding news that he and his family face a $17 million judgment in a civil real estate case out of California.

The race was close, with Tarkanian ending up with 32 percent of the vote to 28 percent for Cegavske. Cegavske won the more populous Clark County in the district which also stretches across much of rural Nevada. Tarkanian made up the difference with strong showings in the rurals, including Esmeralda, Lyon, Mineral and White Pine counties.

But Tarkanian faces an uphill battle in the new congressional district created in Nevada as a result of the 2010 census. The district, composed of parts of Clark County and several rural counties, has a 113,000 to 90,000 Democratic voter edge as of the close of the primary.

The big surprise of the night may have been the overwhelming defeat of state Sen. John Lee, D-North Las Vegas, in the Democratic primary against newcomer Patricia Spearman. Spearman had 63 percent of the vote to 37 percent for Lee.

The contest is expected to be decided with Spearman’s primary victory because of the strong Democratic voter edge in the district.

Progressive activists targeted Lee because of his conservative stand on some social issues. Spearman’s victory, however, won’t alter the political landscape as Republicans and Democrats face off in several other Senate districts in the effort to take control of the 21-member house in 2013.

The Nevada Priorities PAC, which supported Spearman in her underdog challenge, said Lee was their initial target because of his weak voting record on issues relating to education, civil rights, the environment and women’s choice.

“Voting records have consequences,” said Priorities PAC spokesperson Annette Magnus. “When we have a so-called friend abandon us on issue after issue, we were left with little recourse but to launch an independent campaign to educate primary voters.”

Lee raised more than $208,000 for his re-election bid, while the Nevada Priorities Political Action Committee raised $86,000. Spearman raised less than $14,000.

The statewide primary featured very low turnout by registered voters statewide. Fewer than 20 percent of active voters cast ballots in the primary.

There were no surprises in the other state Senate primary battles, with the toughest challenge in the GOP Senate District 9 contest, where Mari Nakashima St. Martin fended off Brent Jones. The race featured allegations of “partying” by St. Martin, while Jones was questioned about whether he took advantage of a mentally disabled man more than a decade ago by selling him two ostrich eggs for $30,000 to establish an ostrich farm.

The race pitted GOP Senate Caucus favorite St. Martin against Jones, an avowed opponent of new taxes. St. Martin had 54 percent of the vote to 46 percent for Jones.

A similar GOP primary battle occurred in Senate District 18, where Assemblyman Scott Hammond, R-Las Vegas, defeated Assemblyman Richard McArthur, R-Las Vegas, and Conrad Vergara. Hammond was the GOP Senate Caucus choice who voted to continue a package of expiring tax hikes in 2011, while McArthur ran as a no taxes candidate who opposed the package.

Hammond had 56 percent of the vote to 41 percent for McArthur.

For Democrats, Kelli Ross defeated Donna Schlemmer in state Senate 18 and will face Hammond in a district that has a Republican voter registration edge.

The Senate races are critical to both Republicans and Democrats to determine who controls the Senate in the 2013 legislative session. Democrats currently have an 11-10 edge.

The other three state Senate races in play between the parties are Senate 5, 6 and 15. The party primaries in Senate 5 and 6 had no surprises. Senate 15 in Reno had no primary. Republicans need to win four of the five races to take an 11-10 edge in 2013.

In some of the other races and issues facing voters around Nevada, the Laughlin incorporation vote went down to defeat. Residents of the community 90 miles south of Las Vegas rejected the idea of forming their own city by a margin of 55 percent to 45 percent.

There were no surprises in the other congressional races. Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., and Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., both won their primaries in the Senate contest.

Former Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., had no opponent in the 1st Congressional District. She will face Republican Chris Edwards in November.

Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Nev., won his primary in the 2nd Congressional District and will face Democrat Samuel Koepnick.

Rep. Joe Heck, R-Nev., was easily winning his primary in the 3rd District and will face Assembly Speaker John Oceguera, D-Las Vegas, in November.

In the two State Board of Education races, Allison Serafin and Ed Klapproth, were leading among five candidates in District 3 in Clark County, with 31 percent and 21 percent of the vote, respectively. Both will appear on the November ballot.

In the District 2 race in Northern Nevada among five candidates, current board member Dave Cook had 31 percent of the vote and Donna Clontz had 25 percent. Both will be on the November ballot.

Former Lt. Gov. and Regent Lonnie Hammargren had just over 50 percent of the vote in the race for the Board of Regents in District 12. Andrea Anderson was second in the four person race with 28 percent of the vote.

The only other upset in the legislative races occurred in Douglas County in a three-way Republican primary, where incumbent Kelly Kite lost to challenger Jim Wheeler. Kite was targeted for his vote in 2011 to continue a package of expiring taxes.


GOP Candidates For Senate 18 Face Off In Televised Debate Ahead Of June 12 Primary

By Sean Whaley | 7:56 pm May 17th, 2012

CARSON CITY – Two Republican members of the Assembly who both want to move into the Senate in District 18 faced off today in a televised debate that focused primarily on a controversial 2011 tax vote.

Two-term lawmaker Richard McArthur and freshman Scott Hammond emphasized their divergent positions on the tax vote during the match-up on the Face To Face television program.

McArthur emphasized his conservative credentials, noting he was one of the few Republican members of the Assembly who in 2011 voted against a measure to extend a set of expiring taxes into the current budget to balance state spending plan. He received the highest score in the Assembly from the American Conservative Union.

GOP Senate 18 candidate Richard McArthur.

Hammond, who is endorsed by the Senate Republican Caucus, said his vote to extend the sunsets still resulted in 70 percent of Nevada businesses paying less in modified business taxes. The sunset extension eliminated the tax on businesses that reported less than $250,000 annually in annual wages. A recorded statement from 2010 showed Hammond telling an audience that he would not raise taxes, however.

Asked about his vote, Hammond said: “In the 2011 session, what we voted to do was actually to decrease spending by $500 million and over 70 percent of the businesses in the state of Nevada are now paying less in taxes on their MBT (Modified Business Tax) than they were, or were going to. So basically when I took over office people now are spending less in taxes than when I took over.”

But McArthur said the decision to extend the sunsets, based on a Nevada Supreme Court ruling that some said called into question a number of elements of Gov. Brian Sandoval’s budget that relied on local tax revenues, was overstated. The ruling in the Clean Water Coalition case found that Sandoval could not take $62 million in local revenues to bolster the state budget.

The case created only a small $62 million hole in the budget and did not require the extension of the expiring taxes, McArthur said.

“The budget wasn’t in jeopardy,” he said. “There wasn’t any problem. That was $62 million. That was easily covered.”

Sandoval, a Republican, recently announced his intentions to extend the sunsets another two years to avoid any further cuts to education

The candidates also talked about what they would support to reform public education.

McArthur said the education reforms approved in the 2011 session were minimal.

McArthur said he wants to end social promotion, a practice of advancing students to the next grade regardless of their achievement. Sandoval has made this issue a top priority of his 2013 education reform plan. McArthur also supports vouchers, which would give parents tax revenues to pick a school, including religious-sponsored schools, for their children to attend.

Hammond said he supports more school choice, including an expansion of charter schools. There needs to be more competition, he said.

GOP Senate 18 candidate Scott Hammond.

The Senate 18 district in Clark County, newly created as a result of redistricting due to the 2010 census, has a Republican voter advantage, 40.7 percent to 37.6 percent as of the end of April. It is one Republicans are counting on in their effort to take the majority in the 2013 session. Democrats now have an 11-10 edge in the 21-member Senate.

In the GOP Caucus endorsement of Hammond, Sen. Michael Roberson, R-Las Vegas, said: “Assemblyman Hammond is exactly the kind of candidate Nevadans are looking for. He has a thorough understanding of the issues facing our state and is not afraid to tackle the tough issues. He will be a great addition to the Senate.”

Two Democrats, Kelli Ross and Donna Schlemmer, are also running in a primary for the seat.

Hammond teaches government and Spanish for the Clark County School District and political science at UNLV. He lives in Las Vegas with his wife and their three children.

McArthur is a retired FBI agent with 25 years of service. He lives in Las Vegas with his wife of 41 years.


Audio clips:

Assemblyman Scott Hammond says his vote to extend a package of expiring taxes in 2011 did not increase taxes:

051712Hammond1 :19 I took over.”

Assemblyman Richard McArthur says the Supreme Court ruling did not create a budget hole requiring additional taxes:

051712McArthur1 :14 that $62 million.”



Tarkanian Runs RoboPoll, Mulls Run in NV-04

By Elizabeth Crum | 10:28 am November 16th, 2011

Update/correction:  Danny Tarkanian did not commission this poll.

Strategic National has conducted a (very) small-sample robopoll in NV04.

In a primary match up against state Sen. Barabara Cegavske, Tarkanian is ahead 54 percent to 8 percent. (Chalk most of this margin up to Tarkanian’s advantage based on name recognition — but it means that Cegavske would have to work hard and spend a significant amount of money in a primary race against him. I’m sure Tarkanian is hoping this poll will discourage her.)

In a match-up against a generic Democrat, the poll says Tarkanian wins 44 percent to 29 percent with this group of (303) likely voters. Undecideds were at 27 percent. Based on the cross tabs of the survey (see below) — assuming all respondents affiliated with a party went with the candidate of their own party — independent and third party voters leaned Tarkanian’s way.

Cegavske beat the generic Democrat 37 to 33 percent with 30 percent undecided.

Tarkanian is at 33 percent very favorable/favorable, 52 percent neutral, and 10 percent unfavorable in the poll.

Cegavske is at 13 percent very favorable/unfavorable, 74 percent neutral, 8 percent unfavorable (which again just means that most respondents don’t know her).

The breakdown of the respondents was 54.5% Female and 45.5% Male.  Partisan registration was 45.5% Democrat, 33.0% Republican, and 21.5% Independent or 3rd Party.  The survey has a Margin of Error of +/- 5.63%, at a 95% Confidence Interval.

Tarkanian told me last night that he would likely make a decision over Thanksgiving weekend, so we will probably know by the end of the month or early December.

In past conversations with me, Tarkanian has said he feels that if he does not run for Congress this cycle, he will lose valuable momentum and the name-recognition advantage leftover from the 2010 U.S. Senate primary race. He acknowledges, too, that this is likely his “last shot” after unsuccessful runs for the state Legislature, Secretary of State and U.S. Senate.

Part of Tarkanian’s calculus is his belief that there will be much higher Republican than Democratic turnout, especially in the rural parts of that (new) district, and also that he can win over a majority of independents. He also claims that updated precinct reports he’s seen show active Democratic voters have dropped from 42,400 to around 28,000 in that district.

Re: his relationship with Cegavske, Tarkanian spoke warmly of her, said they are “very close” and that she has “been like a mentor” to him. I’m guessing that if he jumps in, he hopes she’ll change her mind about running (remember, candidate filing is not until March).

As for his wife’s position as Nevada Republican Party chair and whether that will be a problem should he choose to run, Tarkanian said it “clearly isn’t a conflict” because the party does not endorse in primaries. Not sure everyone in the central committee will see it that way…

Also, in the presidential race, the survey shows:

Gingrich at 31 percent

Cain at 22 percent

Romney at 21

Paul at 9

Perry at 3



Pre-Game Analysis: Titus to Announce in Congressional District “X”

By Elizabeth Crum | 8:57 am November 1st, 2011

…where X is (probably) equal to one.

As first Tweeted by @RalstonFlash yesterday, former Rep. Dina Titus plans to announce (this Thursday) in which congressional district she plans to run. The declaration will come even though Nevada’s new congressional maps are not yet validated by either the courts or the legislature.

Former Rep. Dina Titus

Titus will most likely choose to run in CD-1, where she lives, which will likely result in a very interesting Democratic primary race between her and state Senator Ruben Kihuen. (Titus has said she’d run in the district with the most Democrats; Kihuen has said he’d run in the district with the most Hispanics.)

For my out of state readers, this has historically been the safest Democratic seat in Nevada. It was long held by Rep. Shelley Berkley, who is now running for the U.S. Senate against Sen. Dean Heller. Under the new maps, Democrats have a 27 percentage point voter registration advantage over Republicans in the district.

Here’s a quick look at the Titus-Kihuen match-up:


Titus taught government classes at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas for 34 years, until her retirement in June. She represented Senate District 7 in the Nevada Legislature for 20 years, serving as the Democratic Minority Leader from 1993 to 2008. Titus was elected to the U.S. House of Representatives from CD-3 in November 2008, where she served on the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, the Education and Labor Committee, and the Homeland Security Committee.  She also served as Whip for the Western states. Titus lost the seat (by less than 2,000 votes) to Rep. Joe Heck in 2010.

(Interesting historical note: Democrats targeted CD-3 Republican incumbent Jon Porter in 2008. Their top candidate was Clark County prosecutor Robert Daskas, but he dropped out of the race for family reasons. Democrats then quickly recruited Titus, who had won the district in her unsuccessful 2006 run for governor. Titus was a beneficiary of the “Obama wave” and defeated Porter in November, 47% to 42%, becoming the first Democrat to ever represent the district.)

Kihuen was elected to serve the 10th Senatorial District (central and east Las Vegas) of Nevada in November of 2010. Prior to that, he served two terms as a State Assembly member for District 11. Kihuen also served as “diversity programs manager” for the College of Southern Nevada, a job that was eliminated when he left CSN in order to run for Congress. He is a past member of the Clark County Community Development Advisory Committee and the North Las Vegas Citizen’s Advisory Committee.

Update: Kihuen has in the past worked as a college recruiter and academic advisor for CSN. He also worked as a field organizer for political campaigns in Nevada, Virginia, Florida and Texas, and served as regional representative to Sen. Majority Leader Harry Reid.

Update 2/correction: The communications director for CSN emailed to clarify that Ruben Kihuen’s job was not eliminated from CSN. Constance Brooks has taken over the diversity office that Ruben led; her job title is “director of government affairs and diversity initiatives.”

Nevada Records/Notables

In the 2007 legislative session, Titus authored a bill that requires health insurance companies to cover the costs of the HPV vaccine, Gardasil, which is purported to protect women from cervical cancer. The bill passed both the Nevada Senate and the Nevada Assembly and was signed by Gov. Jim Gibbons. She also spear-headed a measure banning so-called universal default clauses that enable credit card issuers to boost interest rates by 30 percent or more. The bill passed the Nevada Senate and Assembly, but was vetoed by Gibbons. (Congress later pressured major credit card companies to roll back the clause voluntarily.)

Kihuen authored few bills during his time in Carson City, but you can view his legislative voting record here. An August Las Vegas Sun story described his most notable accomplishments as (1) authoring a 2009 bill outlawing the taking of too many copies of free publications (it passed the Assembly and Senate but was vetoed by Gibbons and (2) pushing a measure that granted a portion of unused gift cards to the state for education, instead of returning it to the business. Kihuen contended that it was more important for him to focus on leading the newly created Select Committee on Economic Growth and Employment, and that he participated in and influenced numerous important discussions on bills.


As of the end of Q3, Kihuen had raised $92,000, spent $6,800 spent, and loaned himself $10,000 loan. His cash on hand: $95,000.

Titus raised $201,000, spent $8,000, and had/has $193,000 cash on hand.

Titus’ fundraising ability is presumed superior, but Kihuen should not be underestimated.

Update: A political wag rightly points out that Kihuen is likely to get plenty of Nevada lobbying money because even if he loses in the primary, he will return to Carson City as a state senator in 2013. Win/win for special interests that support him.


Kihuen is seeking to become Nevada’s first Hispanic congressman and is betting on strong minority support, evidenced by the presence of a diverse crowd of supporters along with a mariachi band, Chinese dancing dragons and African-American break dancers at his congressional campaign kick-off a few weeks back.

If the lines remain as drawn the court-appointed special masters, the district is 43% Hispanic.

Titus will bank on her existing base of voter support, campaign money from both in and out of state, and what is sure to be a strong campaign team willing to go the (brutal) extra mile if pre-primary election polls are tight.


GOP Chair Leaning Toward Early February Caucuses; Dem Chair Blasts Florida for Calendar Change

By Elizabeth Crum | 4:28 pm September 30th, 2011

State GOP chair Amy Tarkanian confirmed a short while ago that although discussions are ongoing, she is leaning towards holding Nevada’s presidential caucuses the first week of February. Tarkanian said she is just not sure she’s willing to be penalized and lose half the state’s delegates by scheduling prior to February 1, which is what Republican National Committee rules would require.

@RalstonFlash first Tweeted her position earlier in the day:

.@MrsT106: “It’s not fair that a bigger state can bully us in this manner.” But w/so few delegates, she frets NV will have no voice at all.

Tarkanian said the Nevada Republican Party executive committee will tonight have a conference call in order to weigh the pros and cons of giving up Nevada’s early caucus/third-in-line place in order to send all 28 of the party’s delegates to the presidential nominating convention in Tampa.

Tarkanian said she is not happy but could be satisfied to be “first in the West” position.

If Iowa moves its primary to January and the Nevada GOP chooses a February caucus date, it will have to reverse a provision binding the Nevada caucus date to the Saturday following the New Hampshire primary.

For the time being, Nevada’s GOP presidential caucus is scheduled for Feb. 18.

In reaction to Florida’s announcement today that they will be moving their Presidential Primary date to January 31st, Nevada State Democratic Party Chair Roberta Lange said in a statement, ”Florida’s announcement today risks the integrity and intent of the presidential nominating calendar and is a blatant violation of the rules agreed upon by the national committees of both parties.”

Update (4:29 p.m.):  From a press release from Amy Tarkanian/the Nevada GOP:

“Florida has thrown the primary and caucus system into upheaval with the decision to move their primary up to January 31st. It’s a disrespectful and counter-productive move. However, I am working closely with representatives of the other early states, Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, for a positive resolution. The date of Nevada’s caucus might have to be moved up accordingly to a date yet to be determined. Still, even if the date changes, Nevada will remain the First in the West Presidential Caucus and our determination to achieve excellence and raise Nevada’s national profile remains unchanged.”

Update (5:01 p.m.): Here’s the GOP delegate chart for all the states.



Lippold to Announce for CD-2

By Elizabeth Crum | 7:17 am April 14th, 2011

As first reported by Jon Ralston about twenty minutes ago, Kirk Lippold, a Carson City resident and former navy Commander, will this morning announce his candidacy for Nevada’s 2nd Congressional District seat. He will run as a Republican, challenging Sharron Angle and others who are yet expected to jump into the CD-2 primary.

This will be Lippold’s first political campaign. Voters can expect him to campaign as a conservative who will try to appeal to Nevadans because he is not a career politician.

Lippold served in the Navy for 26 years. He was in charge of the USS Cole on October 12, 2000 as it was attacked by al-Qaeda terrorists while refueling and harbored in a port in Yemen.

A Navy promotion board selected Lippold for promotion to Captain (O-6) in 2002. He was not confirmed by the Senate, despite a 2001 Navy investigation concluding that Lippold and his crew probably could not have prevented the Cole attack. Subsequent Navy promotion boards continued to select Lippold for Captain, and in all cases the selection was struck down by the U.S. Senate.

Lippold has publicy spoken about the attack on the Cole and the dedication of his crew in his capacity as a featured speaker with Keppler Speakers bureau.

Since retiring from military service in 2007, Lippold has served as Senior Fellow for Military Families United, a nonprofit organization that advocates for military families who have lost loved ones in service to their country.

Lippold is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and received his commission in the Navy in 1981. He earned a Masters of Science in Systems Engineering from the Navy Postgraduate School.

Lippold is also a 1994 graduate of the United States Army Command and General Staff College and is a 2001 graduate of the Joint Forces Staff College. He served as aide to the Secretary of the Navy and also played a role in crafting detainee policy for suspected terrorists following the 9/11 attacks.

In 2009, Lippold wrote an opinion piece in the Washington Times entitled “Obama’s invisible terror victims” and subtitled “Rights of detained suspects paramount in process”. The article contended that the rights of Guantanamo detainees were overshadowing the rights of victims of terrorism.


Heller Was Poised to Challenge Ensign in Primary

By Elizabeth Crum | 8:43 am March 15th, 2011

During a brief interview with Congressman Dean Heller a few moments ago, Heller laughingly called his U.S. Senate run “the worst kept secret in Nevada” and said that for the past many months his team “had anticipated we would be running against Ensign in the primary.”

Indeed, Heller’s well-tooled, warm-and-fuzzy campaign website and already emailed fundraiser invitation to major donors show he has been working on his Senate campaign for some time.

Heller said he “probably would not have announced for another couple of months” were it not for the scandal-plagued Ensign’s recent announcement not to seek a third term, confirming speculation about the timing of his own announcement to run for Senate.

Heller will not be holding a formal press conference, but instead will be talking to reporters one-on-one and doing numerous radio and television appearances in the coming weeks.

The Congressman would neither confirm nor deny whether he has had recent conversations with Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki, Sharron Angle and/or other Nevada Republicans about their own possible senatorial ambitions — but of course he has, and those conversations will surely continue as we wait to see who else will try to become Nevada’s next senator.





Reno Assemblyman-elect Calls For Return To September Primary For Nevada

By Nevada News Bureau Staff | 10:07 am November 3rd, 2010

CARSON CITY – Assemblyman-elect Pat Hickey, R-Reno, today has called for a return to “electioneering sanity” by moving Nevada’s primary election date back to September.

Hickey is requesting a bill draft to make the change from the much earlier June primary date used for the first time this election cycle.

“Nevadans have just been subjected to eight months of non-stop political advertising lasting longer than the Major League Baseball season,” Hickey said.

Nine other states, including New York, Maryland, Delaware and Hawaii, all have their primaries in early September, he said.

“Nevada voted to move the primary to June so that candidates wouldn’t have to walk door-to-door in August,” Hickey said. “I’m sure Nevada voters would prefer politicians sweat a little in the summer sun rather than having to put up with a never-ending deluge of political advertisements every two years clogging their television and radio airways.”

Hickey said Nevada just experienced the longest campaign season in state history, and voters would prefer to see the primary returned to the second Tuesday in September starting in 2012.

The primary historically has been held in September. It was moved to August for the 2006 and 2008 elections. It was moved to June for the 2010 election cycle by the 2009 Legislature.

Hickey previously served in the Assembly in the 1997 session. He succeeds Assemblywoman Heidi Gansert, who decided not to run for re-election.

Team Angle Accuses Team Reid of “Nefarious Actions” and Privacy Violations

By Elizabeth Crum | 8:06 pm July 5th, 2010

See the prior two posts for background on this one.

And then, this press release from Team Angle a short while ago:

For Immediate Release

Senator Harry Reid’s Campaign Forced to Take Down Deceptive Website

Reid Campaign blamed for trying to capture data belonging to Angle Supporters

Reno, NV – Today U.S. Senator Harry Reid’s campaign was forced to take down a website that falsely represented itself as Sharron Angle’s campaign website and attempted to deceive Angle supporters into giving their personal information to the Reid campaign. Reid’s campaign received a Cease and Desist Notice complaining of “nefarious actions,” including the abuses of proprietary materials from the Angle campaign website and for potentially violating the privacy of supporters who may have been submitting personal information to be used for U.S. Senate candidate Sharron Angle’s campaign.

According to a letter from the Angle campaign’s lawyer, “… these activities violate a number of federal statutes regarding the internet and your client has clearly misappropriated my client’s copyrighted materials. In addition it appears that the only interactive function on the fake site is the capturing of names of persons seeking to add their names and email addresses as supporters of Sharron Angle.”

Angle spokesman Jerry Stacy said that Reid’s campaign responded immediately by removing the site. “Make no mistake, the Reid campaign was forced to take this site down because they were breaking several laws and trying to deceive the voters,” Stacy said. “You’re going to see a lot of dirty tricks like that from Reid’s campaign.”

Stacy also added that he is not surprised by the continual shady tactics coming from the Reid campaign. “This is a clear case of a desperate man doing desperate things to win. We knew that Harry Reid was trailing in the polls and that he would do anything to win — but for Harry Reid’s campaign to resort to actually breaking laws would be amazing even for him. Harry Reid may feel like he is above the law when he’s off in Washington, but back here in Nevada we expect better from our leaders. This is just one more reason Harry Reid has got to go.”

Here’s the letter:

Cease Desist Notice to Reid Campaign

GOP Senate Candidate Sue Lowden Calls Reid Interference In Republican Primary Unprecedented

By Sean Whaley | 3:55 pm June 7th, 2010

CARSON CITY – GOP U.S. Senate candidate Sue Lowden said today she is “very encouraged” by the exit polling results her campaign has seen from early voting as primary election day draws near.

She said in an interview on the Nevada NewsMakers television program that the results of a poll reported over the weekend in the Las Vegas Review-Journal showing Sharron Angle taking a commanding lead in the multi-candidate primary is several days old and included people who have not yet voted. The poll was conducted June 1 through 3.

“So we’ve been tracking those who have left their homes, the comforts of their homes, and gone to early vote and we’re very, very encouraged,” she said.

Lowden did not disclose what her tracking polls are showing, saying she didn’t have the information available.

“It’s different in every part of the state that we’ve been tracking,” she said. “But I can tell you we feel really good about those who have voted already.”

Lowden said voters should not be swayed by the ads running in the Senate race from outside groups, particularly those from the Patriot Majority PAC, which she said has links to Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev.

The political action committee, run by a former Reid campaign staffer, is running an ad in Nevada attacking Lowden’s record on taxes during her term in the state Senate in the 1990s.

“I do wish outside groups had stayed out of our race,” she said. “Harry Reid has clearly decided he doesn’t want me in November to defeat him; he thinks it’s easier to defeat me in June. I’m hoping that people see through it.”

While voters may be tired of negative campaigning, Lowden said GOP primary voters need to know that outside groups are trying to influence the results, including “Harry Reid friendlies who are doing that, trying to influence our Republican primary, like I’ve never seen before in this state.”

Lowden said questions raised about several incidents during her campaign, such as her suggestion that people barter with their doctors for care, were made issues by Reid to distract voters from his failures on jobs and the economy.

“They can’t find anything about me, so they make it up,” she said. “He’s going to do anything to protect his job to make sure he has a job in November. He doesn’t care about the tens of thousands of people who don’t have jobs in Nevada. He’s not talking about that.”

Lowden made similar remarks in an appearance on MSNBC’s Hardball this afternoon.


Audio Files:

Lowden on recent poll numbers:

060710Lowden1 :26 very, very encouraged.”

Lowden on Reid:

060710Lowden2 :24 in this state”

Candidates for Governor Disclose Supporters in Campaign Contribution Reports

By Sean Whaley | 1:19 pm June 7th, 2010

CARSON CITY – Campaign contribution reports for the front-running Republican and Democrat candidates for governor show they are about even in the money-raising and expenditure game.

Republican Brian Sandoval raised just over $900,000 in the first reporting period from Jan. 1 to May 27, but also reported spending nearly $1.1 million in the three-way primary race that includes former North Las Vegas mayor Mike Montandon and incumbent Gov. Jim Gibbons.

Clark County Commission Chairman Rory Reid, who faces only token opposition in his Democrat primary, reported $983,000 in contributions in the same period, and expenses of $982,000.

Gibbons reported only $179,000 in contributions and $184,000 in expenses. Montandon reported $80,000 in contributions and expenses of $114,000.

A review of contributions to the candidates show support from mostly traditional sources. Fellow Republicans and business enterprises donated to Sandoval, fellow Democrats and business entities and labor unions gave to Reid. Both received contributions from different Nevada gaming operators and dozens of individuals.

The primary election is Tuesday.

Sandoval’s report shows that virtually all of his contributions have come from Nevada residents, including $500 from GOP attorney general candidate Jacob Hafter, $2,000 from the Friends of Heidi Gansert, a Reno assemblywoman in her last term, and $1,000 from Nevada state Sen. Dean Rhoads, R-Tuscarora.

The Sen. Bill Raggio Senate Campaign donated $500, as did Raggio, R-Reno, personally.

The Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce, which has endorsed Sandoval, contributed $10,000.

The Las Vegas Hilton and the Boyd Gaming Corp. both donated $10,000 to Sandoval.

Reid too received most of his contributions from within Nevada.

He received four $10,000 contributions from television stations owned by Jim Rogers and the Sunbelt Communications Co., including his Reno and Las Vegas stations. He received another $5,000 contribution from Don King Productions based in Florida.

The Barbara Buckley Campaign donated $2,500. Buckley, D-Las Vegas, is the outgoing speaker of the Nevada Assembly. Assembly Majority Leader John Oceguera, D-Las Vegas, donated $9,999. Friends for Steven Horsford donated $5,000. Sen. Horsford, D-Las Vegas, is the Senate majority leader.

Former U.S. Sen. and Gov. Richard Bryan donated $1,000. Former U.S. Sen. Tom Daschle, D-SD, donated $2,500.

Contributions have also come from several labor unions, including the Laborers’ International Union of North America Local 169 PAC in Reno, totaling $3,000. Another $5,000 came from the Laborers Political League based in Las Vegas. The Nevada Service Employees Union SEIU Local 1107 in Las Vegas donated $5,000.

A number of casinos owned by MGM Mirage also donated $5,000 each to Reid’s campaign, including the Luxor, MGM Grand and Mandalay Bay.

Gibbons received $600 from former GOP Rep. Barbara Vucanovich and $1,000 from Bruce James, a former U.S. Public Printer and chairman of Gibbons’ SAGE Commission. Wynn Resorts contributed $10,000. He also received four $5,000 contributions from companies owned by the Las Vegas Sands Corp.

Team Lowden Says They Reached Half of Their ID’d Suppporters in Early Voting

By Elizabeth Crum | 11:24 am June 5th, 2010

On a conference call with press this morning, Team Lowden coach Robert Uithoven said they had “pretty good success” with their early voting Get Out the Vote effort, reaching about half of their ID’d voters.

Not sure that can be called success, though.  If Lowden only got half of her confirmed supporters to the polls early, she is going to need a huge Tuesday push which, as Ralston Tweeted during the call, seems pretty unlikely.

Uithoven referenced past voter data on Angle in Churchill, Elko and other rural counties where she historically fared less well and said they have been focused picking up votes in those areas.

He claimed they are “up outside the margin of error” after early voting, based on 6,000 interviews.

Uithoven also mentioned Team Tark, saying Danny has “possibly benefited from staying out of” the Angle-Lowden fray.  He added, though, that Tark has been relatively “stagnant” in the polls and said he believes Tark has topped out.

We then had the usual mention of “outside groups” going after Lowden, characterized nicely by Ralston via Twitter:

“Fine whine.”

Perhaps the most notable thing about the call was that there were no questions from press, but then there’s not too much that hasn’t been asked and answered in recent weeks.

I don’t know about everyone else, but I am ready for Tuesday night and would probably just fast forward through the next three days if I could.

Sandoval Up Over Gibbons 47-33, Female and Non-Tea Party Voters Are Deciding Factor

By Elizabeth Crum | 9:20 am June 5th, 2010

As Flashed by Ralston early last night and posted by the RJ sometime this morning, Gibbons has gained a bit but is still 14 points behind Sandoval in the gubernatorial race.

The Mason-Dixon Polling & Research poll shows Montandon (still) at just 6%.  I guess Mayor Mike will soon have to start thinking about What’s Next.  If it helps him feel any better, I do think he is an “electable conservative.”  He might want to consider aiming a little lower than the state’s highest executive office, though.

The poll says the Undecideds are at 12%.

It’s notable that among Republican men, Gibbons and Sandoval are tied at 41%, but the GOP female voters break strongly for Sandoval:  54% prefer him while Gibbons’ is liked by just 24%.

While many women do enjoy watching a good soap opera, I guess Governor Gibbons gave them a little Too Much drama.

Also, among GOP voters who do not self-ID as Tea Party members, Gibbons is liked by only 31% while Sandoval earns 49%.

I find it interesting that only 18% of the Republicans polled ID’d themselves as “members” of the Tea Party while 82% said they are not members.  But then 64% said they “support the agenda” of the Tea Party movement.  These folks are casually rooting for the Tea Party from the comfort of their couches, I guess?

Anyhow, in a general election match-up against Rory Reid, 51% percent went with Sandoval (compared to 37% for the Senate Majority Leader’s son).

It should be noted that 14 points is not an unbridgeable gap (except, of course, if it’s the week before the election) especially when you have $2.6 million cash on hand and the state Dem Machine warming up in the engine room, as Rory does.

Having said that, it looks like Brian Sandoval will probably be our next governor.  But I’ll be interested to see how many points the Dems can shave off his lead, and how they go about it, between now and November.

Tea Party Express Brings the Funny With Mock Poll Results

By Elizabeth Crum | 4:22 pm June 4th, 2010

A gold star goes to the Tea Party Express for putting out this clever tongue-in-cheek press release just now:




The Tea Party Express joined every other campaign above Dog Catcher in releasing our exclusive Exit Poll results from Early Voting.

The Exit Poll data showed similar results to those released by the U.S. Senate campaigns of Danny Tarkanian and Sue Lowden:






The margin of error on the poll was +/- 95%.

“We’ve given it our best effort, but clearly we cannot compete with the other U.S. Senate campaigns and their constantly rising internal poll results,” said Bryan J. Shroyer, Political Director of the Tea Party Express.

“We thought Sharron Angle could win this campaign by securing roughly 35% of the vote, but clearly the Lowden and Tarkanian campaigns long ago passed those numbers in their own internal polling and are set for a historic election finish winning more than 100% of the vote each.

“We failed. We thought we were doing well with Angle’s initial surge until the competing camps corrected us and denied the surge. We then thought we were doing good as independent polls showed us running neck-and-neck with Sue Lowden until we were corrected by the other campaigns that no we weren’t. And with new independent polls showing Angle surging ahead to first-place, we are grateful to the Lowden and Tarkanian campaigns for once again setting us straight.”


Friday U.S. Senate Round-Up

By Elizabeth Crum | 3:26 pm June 4th, 2010

Here’s a hodgepodge of Senate race items, some of them in Twitter format (meaning 140 characters or less with various abbrevations and supplemented by hashtags as modifiers or snarky comments):

– Earlier this week Sue Lowden told CQ Politics the GOP would unite after primary day, but today her campaign manager told members of the press she’s the only one who can beat Harry Reid (insinuating, without so saying directly, that the general election is over if she doesn’t win).  How to reconcile the one with the other?  And will the winner, if it’s not Lowden, even want her half-hearted support?  Especially if that winner is Sharron Angle, upon whom Team Lowden has been unmercifully beating for the past few weeks?

– Manu Raju w/ Politico was also on that call with team Lowden today. Here’s the write-up.

– My sum-up of the call?  Seven parts Angle-bashing, two parts “only we can win” and one part dismissing general skepticism about Lowden’s ability to actually do so.

– The Sun’s Coolican and Schwartz had a nice snapshot of the race as of this morning. says Harry Reid has “quiet” Mormon support. (Why do they feel they have to whisper…?)

– The Defense in the Blagojevich trial subpoenaed Harry Reid, Dick Durbin & Jesse Jackson Jr. Judge (but the judge denied the request to subpoena Obama).  Hm.  That could get messy.

– A Gun Owners of America website called likes Angle and doesn’t like Tarkanian.  Includes clip to that Brady endorsement thing.

– I kicked off a fun Twitter convo about Tarkanian this morning when I shared some exit poll numbers put out by his press guy.  Here is some of it (all unlabeled Tweets are mine):

Team Tark out w/ early voting exits. Claims Tark at 44%, Angle at 29%, Lowden 26%, w/ a Clark/Rural/Washoe ratio of 58/24/17. Says MOE 8.8%.

(@presjpolk) @pinkelephantpun Wow, an MoE of 8.8. My model gives a 20% chance per that poll that Angle leads Tark.

(@pinkelephantpun) @presjpolk … I think it’s a load of crap. Personally. Nothing I’ve seen puts Tark in that range. At all. But you’re the expert.

Let’s be clear that I am not validating or endorsing Team Tark’s claims about their exit polls, just reporting them. #grainofsalt

On Team Tark: When you’ve spent $800K on a campaign, of course you’re gonna fight & hold out hope ’til the bitter end.

Tark Press Team responds to skeptical Tweets about their exit poll #s: “We heard similar #’s from another top campaign.” #nvsen

(@RalstonFlash) Just off plane & saw Tark exit polling. I believe the numbers. I think of voters he once had, he’s probably holding 44%. #alsoran

(@RalstonFlash) Only way Tark wins race is if all the other data out there is wrong. But happy to eat crow Tuesday if he wins. Well, not happy, but will.

If Team Tark wins, they will crow from rooftops, press & pollsters will eat crow, & carrion crows will descend on oppo camps.

And finally, this great Tweet by Ralston, which I think pretty much sums it up for all of us (except all the candidates who are not running for U.S. Senate, of course):

Right now, feel re: GOP Senate race as Paul Newman did about case in “The Verdict.” “There are no other cases. This is the case.” #obsessed