Posts Tagged ‘Republicans’

Many New Faces In Nevada Legislature For 2013

By Sean Whaley | 12:10 pm November 7th, 2012

CARSON CITY – The 63-member Nevada Legislature will see quite a few new faces when it convenes Feb. 4, including 11 members in the Assembly and 10 members in the Senate, although several newly elected state senators have moved up from the Assembly.

One of the new Assembly members is Democrat Ellen Spiegel in District 20 in Henderson, who served in the 2009 session but lost re-election in 2010. Also new will be Republican Wes Duncan in District 37. Duncan unseated Democrat Marcus Conklin in the only loss by an incumbent in the 42-member Assembly.

Newly elected Assemblyman Wes Duncan.

One newly elected Assembly candidate’s future is in legal limbo. Democrat Andrew Martin won in Assembly District 9 in Las Vegas, but a Clark County District judge on Monday ruled him ineligible for the seat because he did not reside in the district. The ruling could be appealed to the Nevada Supreme Court.

Democrats now have a 27-15 majority in the Assembly.

In the 21-member Senate, five of the new members have all served in the Assembly. They include Democrats Tick Segerblom, Kelvin Atkinson, and Debbie Smith, and Republicans Scott Hammond and Pete Goicoechea.

A sixth new member, Joyce Woodhouse, previously served a term in the state Senate but lost re-election in 2010.

Only four new Senate members have no previous legislative experience: Democrats Patricia Spearman, who defeated Democratic incumbent John Lee in the primary, Justin Jones and Aaron Ford; and Republican Mark Hutchison.

Democrats maintained their narrow 11-10 edge over Republicans in the Senate for the 2013 session after several extremely close races split between the two parties in Tuesday’s election.

 

Democrats Narrowly Maintain Control Of State Senate

By Sean Whaley | 12:30 am November 7th, 2012

CARSON CITY – The Nevada state Senate will remain in Democratic control following Tuesday’s election after three Republican candidates won victories in five closely contested races, one short of the number needed for a change of power.

Democrats won two of the five races in play for control of the Senate, maintaining the 11-10 status quo over Republicans.

Republicans needed to win four of the five contested seats to achieve an 11-10 edge and win control of the Senate. Democrats have controlled the Senate since 2008.

But Republicans won only three of the five races, all of which were closely contested.

The results ensure that both the 21-member Senate and the 42-member Assembly will remain in control of Democrats in the 2013 session, requiring GOP Gov. Brian Sandoval to work with the opposing party in both houses to push through his education reform agenda in the 2013 legislative session.

There were 12 Senate races in the Tuesday election, but only five were considered in play by the two parties.

Mark Hutchison, Republican victor in Senate District 6.

In Senate District 5, former state Sen. Joyce Woodhouse, D-Henderson, defeated Republican and former Henderson city councilman Steve Kirk for the four-year term. The final vote had 52 percent for Woodhouse to 48 percent for Kirk. Woodhouse served previously but had lost a re-election bid in 2010.

In Senate District 6, GOP attorney Mark Hutchison narrowly defeated Democrat businessman Benny Yerushalmi, 50.8 percent 49.2 percent.

In Senate District 9, Democrat Justin Jones defeated Republican Mari St. Martin by a margin of 50.4 percent to 49.6 percent.

In Senate District 15 in Washoe County, a closely watched race that pitted Sen. Greg Brower, R-Reno, against former state Sen. Sheila Leslie, D-Reno, Brower eked out a narrow victory. Leslie had resigned her previous seat to face Brower, but lost the hotly contested race 50.2 percent to 49.8 percent. More than $1 million was spent on the race by the two candidates, with Brower winning by a mere 266 votes.

In Senate District 18, GOP Assemblyman Scott Hammond defeated Democrat Kelli Ross, 51.4 percent to 48.6 percent.

Both GOP caucus leader Sen. Michael Roberson, R-Las Vegas, and Democratic leader Mo Denis, D-Las Vegas, had high hopes for their slate of candidates.

In the Assembly, Democrats picked up a seat to take a 27-15 edge over Republicans, although there were some significant developments in a handful of the races.

Assembly Majority Leader Marcus Conklin, D-Las Vegas, expected to be the next Assembly Speaker, lost a fiercely contested race to GOP newcomer Wes Duncan, by a margin of 51.1 percent to 48.9 percent.

Assemblyman Marcus Conklin, D-Las Vegas.

Conklin’s loss opens up the leadership post among Democrats for the 2013 session.

In Assembly District 20, Democrat Ellen Spiegel, who lost a re-election bid in 2010, won her election bid over Republican Eric Mendoza.

And in a race sure to cause some difficulties for Democrats, candidate Andrew Martin won over Republican Kelly Hurst, despite being found ineligible for the seat by a Clark County District Judge on Monday due to a residency issue. Evidence presented at a court hearing resulted in a ruling that Martin did not actually live in the district.

In other races, President Obama’s strong showing in the Silver State did not have the coattail effect that Rep. Shelly Berkley, D-Nev., needed in her challenge to Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev. Heller narrowly defeated Berkley to keep the Senate seat for the GOP, even though Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., will maintain his position in the U.S. Senate with victories elsewhere across the country.

In the state’s four House races, former Rep. Dina Titus, D-Nev., won election in the 1st Congressional District. Rep. Mark Amodei, R-Nev., won a full term to the 2nd District, and Rep. Joe Heck, R-Nev., defeated challenger John Oceguera for a second term in the 3rd District. The most closely watched race, in the new 4th Congressional District, saw state Sen. Steven Horsford, D-Las Vegas, defeat GOP candidate Danny Tarkanian.

Horsford will be Nevada’s first African American member of Congress.

GOP Assembly Leader Predicts Gains On Tuesday

By Sean Whaley | 3:37 pm October 31st, 2012

CARSON CITY – Assembly Republican caucus leader Pat Hickey said he expects to pick up seats for the GOP in the upcoming election, but declined to predict today exactly how big a dent his candidates will make in the 26-member Democratic majority on Nov. 6.

Hickey, R-Reno, said he does expect to see an increase from the 16 seats Republicans have now in the 42-member Assembly. The party has opportunities because of the new political boundaries drawn by a panel of special masters as a result of the 2010 census, he said.

Assembly GOP caucus Leader Pat Hickey, R-Reno.

Hickey, interviewed on the Nevada NewsMakers television program, said he is optimistic about the chances of victory for David Espinosa, the GOP candidate challenging Democrat Skip Daly in Assembly District 31 in Sparks, and for Wes Duncan, who is challenging Assembly Majority Leader Marcus Conklin in District 37 in Las Vegas, among others.

“Conklin’s race is certainly one where it went from a district that was 17 percent Democrat to now roughly even in registration, and having a very attractive candidate like Wes Duncan, Marcus is in for the race of his life,” Hickey said. “But we’re close in quite a number of our races.”

Hickey said he won’t make any firm predictions however, given the unpredictability of the individual races.

“So I’m not going to give you a number of how many we might win but we think we’re going to increase our numbers and we might be very happy on election night depending on how well (Mitt) Romney and the upper ticket folks do in Nevada,” he said.

While party officials and observers are closely watching the state Senate races to see which party will have a majority in the 2013 legislative session, the Assembly contests have received less media attention because Democrats are expected to maintain control.

But some of the races have generated controversy.

The Conklin campaign team was criticized by Hickey and Assembly Republicans last week after one of Conklin’s campaign workers was photographed removing Duncan campaign materials left at district homes.

“It’s one thing to be competitive; it’s another thing to, if you will, steal another opponent’s literature,” Hickey said.

There was no claim made that the theft of the literature came at the direction of Conklin, Hickey said.

The Conklin campaign did not immediately reply to an email seeking comment.

Not all of the 42 Assembly races are in contention, however. Nine Assembly incumbents, five Republicans and four Democrats, have no opponents at all and will win automatically on Tuesday.

Hickey said he remains optimistic about the chances for Republican candidates to win their races despite the strong Democratic voter registration edge statewide, especially in Clark County. Party candidates are using the hands-on approach by walking the districts and talking to voters face-to-face, he said.

“You walk, you win; you don’t, you may not,” Hickey said.

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Audio clips:

Assembly Minority Leader Pat Hickey says redistricting has given Republicans a chance to win seats in the Assembly:

103112Hickey1 :22 do in Nevada.”

Hickey says redistricting has made Majority Leader Marcus Conklin’s seat competitive:

103112Hickey2 :14 of our races.”

Hickey says Republican candidates are relying on face-to-face contact with voters to win:

103112Hickey3 :16 you may not.”

 

 

Romney Rallies Reno Voters In Effort To Win Nevada

By Sean Whaley | 2:41 pm October 24th, 2012

RENO – Gov. Mitt Romney fired up a crowd of about 2,000 enthusiastic Northern Nevada  voters today, urging them to get to the polls and help him take the battleground state that is Nevada 13 days from now.

Romney told the crowd that President Obama is out of ideas, out of excuses and will be out of office come Nov. 6.

The president, “doesn’t understand what it takes to get this economy going, he doesn’t have a plan to get jobs for Americans, I do and that’s why I’m going to win,” he said.

Gov. Mitt Romney fired up a Reno crowd today. / Nevada News Bureau.

He promised to repeal and replace the federal Affordable Care Act, which he referred to as Obamacare, and stop the raid of Medicare funds to pay for it.

Romney said that if Obama is reelected, the national debt will grow from $16 trillion to $20 trillion by the end of his second term.

“I will get America to finally be on track to a balanced budget,” he said.

In his second Nevada visit in as many days, Romney held the rally at the Reno Events Center downtown in a county viewed by many political observers as holding the key to a GOP victory on Nov. 6. He spoke for about 20 minutes.

In a display of just how critical both parties view the state with its six electoral votes, Obama is scheduled to make yet another Nevada appearance later today in Las Vegas.

Nevada voter registration leans Democratic, with 41.9 percent active registered voters to 34.7 percent for Republicans, with another 17.4 percent nonpartisans. Early voting, which began Saturday and runs through Nov. 2, has also favored Democrats so far, with 81,694 votes cast by Democrats through Oct. 23 compared to 62,031 cast by Republicans and 28,981 cast by nonpartisans.

In his remarks, Romney said the election isn’t just about big national issues, but about America’s families and whether they will be able to find jobs and have the ability to choose the school their children attend.

“And I understand what it’s going to take to get this country strong again and provide the answers that your families need,” he said. “Because this is an election about two very different pathways for America. The one represented by the president is in fact one with $20 trillion in debt. He started with $10 trillion, he’s up to $16 (trillion) on his way to $20 (trillion). I’ll balance the budget instead.”

Romney said his five step plan to get the country’s economy working again includes more development of oil, coal, gas and renewable energy, expanding foreign trade, providing training for job seekers, working toward a balanced federal budget and championing small business.

“I want to get small business going again and that means I want to keep taxes down on small business; I want to get regulators to see their job is encouraging small business, not crushing it,” he said. “I’ll make small business the centerpiece of our economic recovery.”

Romney asked the crowd to each find a voter who supported Obama in 2008 and get them to vote for his campaign in 2012 and help “take America in a new direction.”

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Audio clips:

Gov. Romney says voters have two clear paths on election day:

102412Romney1 :19 the budget instead.”

Romney says he will make small business the centerpiece of an economic recovery:

102412Romney2 :14 our economic recovery.”

 

More Than 1.2 Million Registered In Nevada For General Election

By Nevada News Bureau Staff | 2:21 pm October 19th, 2012

CARSON CITY – More than 1.2 million Nevadans are registered as active voters for the Nov. 6 general election as of the close of the registration Oct. 16, the Secretary of State’s office reported today.

Numbers released today by Secretary of State Ross Miller’s Elections Division show that Democrats registered nearly twice as many voters than Republicans since the end of September.

Photo courtesy of Joebeone via Wikimedia Commons.

Of the 1,257,621 active registered voters statewide, 41.9 percent (526,986) are Democrats, 34.7 percent (436,799) are Republicans, 17.4 percent (219,299) are non-partisans, 4.6 percent (58,130) are members of the Independent American Party, and the remaining 1.3 percent (16,407) are members of the Green, Libertarian, or other minor parties.

From Oct. 1 to Oct. 16, the number of active registered voters increased by 70,383. Democrats registered 33,380 active voters, while Republicans registered 14,754 active voters. Active registered non-partisans increased by 17,118 during the same time period.

The total number of active registered voters at the close of registration for the 2012 general election is up by 138,045 compared to the 2010 general election close-of-registration figures, and up by 49,860 compared to the 2008 general election close-of-registration figures.

This is the first election cycle where all 17 counties have had access to the online voter registration system. Since the May 22 registration deadline for the primary election, 41,471 Nevada residents registered to vote online.

“Our outreach efforts and the statewide availability of online voter registration are clearly encouraging and allowing Nevadans to participate in the democratic process,” Miller said. “Now they can use their status as registered voters to cast the ballots during early voting or on Election Day.”

Early voting in Nevada begins tomorrow and runs through Nov. 2. Early voting locations in all counties are available at www.nvsos.gov or by clicking here.

The Secretary of State’s office will post voter turnout statistics, including county and political party breakdowns, to the website daily beginning Monday, Oct. 22. To receive an email notification as soon as the statistics are updated, sign up for “Early Vote Reports” here.

Democrats Continue To Out-register Republicans In September, Now Have 71K Voter Advantage

By Nevada News Bureau Staff | 5:04 pm October 1st, 2012

CARSON CITY – Numbers released today by Secretary of State Ross Miller’s Elections Division show Democrats registered more than twice as many voters than Republicans in September as the deadline to participate in the Nov. 6 general election is now just over two weeks away.

Democrats registered 30,377 active voters, while Republicans registered 14,532 active voters in September, continuing a pattern dating back several months. Active registered nonpartisans increased by 15,240 during the same time period. Of the 1,187,238 active registered voters statewide, 41.6 percent (493,606) are Democrats, 35.6 percent (422,045) are Republicans, and 17 percent (202,181) are nonpartisans.

Photo by Tom Arthur via Wikimedia Commons.

In Washoe County, the split between the two major parties is only about 1 percent, with 87,391 Democrats registered through Sept. 30 compared to 89,776 registered Republicans, for a difference of 37.7 percent for Democrats to 38.7 percent for the GOP.

Online voter registration is now available in all Nevada counties, but the deadline for online registration is midnight, Saturday Oct. 6th. The deadline for registering by mail is also Saturday October 6th. The deadline for registering in person at your respective county clerk or registrar’s office is Oct. 16th. For more information about registering to vote online, visit www.registertovotenv.gov.

 

Republican-Democrat Voter Registration Gap Remains Close In Washoe County

By Nevada News Bureau Staff | 1:39 pm October 1st, 2012

CARSON CITY – While Washoe County voters continue to register for the Nov. 6th general election, the gap between registered Democrats and Republicans remains narrow, county Voter Registrar Dan Burk said today.

“Washoe County is the most closely divided jurisdiction in Nevada,” Burk said. “As of late last week, we have 230,567 registered voters, of which 86,835 are Democrats and 89,443 are Republicans, so it’s just a one percent difference.”

Republicans are 38.8 percent of the total and Democrats are 37.7 percent.

Photo by radder86 via Wikimedia Commons.

Both Republican and Democratic officials agree that Washoe County is a key county in the presidential election in battleground state Nevada. Turnout by voters in the county on election day could affect other important races as well, including the U.S. Senate race.

Burk said the highest number of Washoe County registered voters was 231,400 for the 2008 General Election and this year’s final number could exceed that record.

“We’ll be fairly close to that number,” he said.

Application forms are available at the libraries and most post offices to register by mail, online at www.RegisterToVoteNV.gov and through outside agencies like the DMV and Nevada state Welfare Offices through Oct. 6th. And people can still register or make a change to an existing registration in person in person at the Registrar of Voters office, located at the County Administration complex at the corner of Ninth Street and Wells until Oct. 16th.

Clark County continues to see Democrats outpacing Republicans in the registration battle.

Of the 800,144 registered voters reported by the county today, Democrats totaled 363,009 compared to 253,041 Republicans, for a 109,968 advantage. Another 139,784 are registered nonpartisan, and the remainder are minor party voters.

Earl voting in the election begins Oct. 20.

Democrats Continue To Outpace Republicans In Voter Registration, Gain 100,000 Edge In Clark County

By Sean Whaley | 12:38 pm September 18th, 2012

CARSON CITY – Democrats continue to out-register their Republican counterparts, with the latest data from Clark County now showing a more than 100,000 voter advantage as the deadline to participate in the Nov. 6 general election draws ever closer.

Today just before noon the Clark County website, which updates registration totals regularly, showed 346,703 Democrats registered to vote compared to 246,479 for Republicans, a 100,224 advantage.

Nonpartisans totaled 132,529 and other minor parties totaled 41,910 for a total registered population of 767,621 in Clark County.

Early voting will begin in just a little more than a month.

The consistent outpacing of Democrats over Republicans in the voter registration race could spell trouble for the GOP from the presidential race on down to state legislative races.

In addition to the presidential contest between President Obama and GOP challenger Mitt Romney, an important Senate race pitting U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., against Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., is at stake.

And Republicans in the state Senate are engaged in a concerted effort to win control of the 21-member house in November. Democrats now hold an 11-10 edge.

Sen. Mo Denis, D-Las Vegas, said Democrats are doing well in the registration race because the message of the party on improving education and creating jobs is resonating with voters.

“We thought the economy was going to be the No. 1 thing, but education is and so, I think the message – better educating our children, trying to diversify our economy in different sectors, trying to do things that bring job here – I think those are all messages that are resounding with folks and they’re choosing to register Democrat,” he said.

Denis said Democrats in Nevada have a history of strong turnout for elections, which will also aid the party and its candidates. While nonpartisans will be a big factor in the races, many of those voters are expected to vote Democratic as well, he said.

Sen. Ben Kieckhefer, R-Reno, said Republicans have the edge despite the registration difference.

“Well look, obviously we don’t want to see the numbers getting more divergent than they are in some of these races, and it’s unfortunate, but the reality remains that these are very winnable races for us,” he said. “We have a superior candidate, we have a superior organization, we have superior funding. So in that way, we still feel confident in each and every one of these districts that we’re fielding the better future state senator. So in that way I believe that we’re going to win every one of them.”

Contrary to Denis’ view, Kieckhefer said he believes nonpartisan voters are going to break Republican in the election.

Republican Senate candidates “are right on the messages, they are right on the issues,” he said.

“They have the position that is more in line with the majority of voters in their district,” Kieckhefer said.

The deadline to register to vote in the election is Oct. 16. The last day to register without appearing in person at an Election Department office is Oct. 6.

“I encourage everyone to visit our website to make sure they are registered to vote or to ensure their registration information is current,” Clark County Registrar of Voters Harvard Lomax said in a recent news release. “Individuals with a Nevada driver’s license will be able to take advantage of our online registration services and there is still time to register through the mail.”

Early voting for the election begins on Saturday, Oct. 20 and extends through Friday, Nov. 2.

A check of the Clark County website at noon each day for the past few days shows Democrats continue to consistently out-register Republicans.

On Thursday, the site showed 342,293 registered Democrats, 244,963 registered Republicans and 130,789 nonpartisans.

On Friday, Democrats had added 1,196 registered voters in Clark County from Thursday, Republicans added 322 voters, and nonpartisans increased by 478.

On Saturday, Democrats had added 287 voters from Friday, Republicans added 104 voters and nonpartisans rose by 98. The numbers were not updated on Sunday.

On Monday at noon, the Clark County site showed Democrats had added 1,970 voters from the weekend report, Republicans had added 610 voters, and nonpartisans increased by 674 voters.

On Tuesday at noon, the site showed Democrats had added 1,024 voters, Republicans had added 509 voters and nonpartisans increased by 520 voters.

In 2010, at the close of registration, Democrats only held a 91,633 advantage in Clark County. In 2008, at the close of registration, Democrats held a 125,218 advantage in Clark County.

Democrats have been outpacing Republicans in the statewide numbers reported monthly by the Secretary of State’s Office as well. Even nonpartisan registrations have exceeded Republican registrations in recent months.

As of the end of August, there were 463,229 Democrats registered statewide, 407,513 Republicans and 186,941 nonpartisans. The Democratic advantage stood at 55,716.

As of Saturday, Democrats had 471,585 registered voters statewide and Republicans had 411,525, giving Democrats a 60,060 edge, up by 4,344 voters since the end of August.

The push to control the state Senate is one of the bigger Nevada election stories this year. There are five seats considered competitive, and Republicans need to win four of them to take an 11-10 edge.

But Democrats keep making headway in the four Southern Nevada districts. As of last week, Democrats had a 4 percent edge over Republicans in Senate seat 5, 5.1 percent in seat 6, 6.1 percent in seat 9, and trailed Republicans by 2 percent in seat 18.

Seats 5, 6 and 9 now have larger Democratic edges than even in 2008.

In another closely watched contest, the race for the 4th Congressional District seat between state Sen. Steven Horsford, D-Las Vegas, and Republican Danny Tarkanian, Democrats now have an 11 percent edge, or 30,000 more voters, than Republicans.

“This is only the latest sign that Nevadans are rejecting Mitt Romney and Dean Heller’s plan to outsource jobs and end Medicare by turning it over to private insurance companies,” said Zach Hudson, spokesman for the Nevada State Democratic Party. “Nevadans across the state are excited about re-electing President Obama and sending Shelley Berkley to the Senate to create jobs, protect Medicare, and strengthen the middle class.”

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Audio clips:

Sen. Mo Denis says the Democratic Party message is resonating with potential voters:

091812Denis1 :24 to register Democrat.”

Denis says Republicans have disenfranchised voters, which is why many are registering as nonpartisan:

091812Denis2 :16 as a Republican.”

Sen. Ben Kieckhefer says he believes Senate Republicans are still favored to win because they are the better candidates and are better funded:

091812Kieckhefer :23 one of them.”

 

 

Democrats Continue To Outpace Republicans In Voter Registration Efforts In August

By Sean Whaley | 6:33 pm September 4th, 2012

CARSON CITY – Democrats continued to outpace Republicans in their voter registration efforts in August, signing up 12,163 new voters to 5,042 for Republicans, the Secretary of State’s office reported today.

Registered nonpartisans increased by 6,575 during the same time period, also exceeding the registrations by the GOP.

Of the 1,122,236 active registered voters statewide, 41.3 percent, (463,229), are Democrats, 36.3 percent, (407,513), are Republicans, and 16.7 percent, (186,941), are nonpartisans.

Photo by Tom Arthur via Wikimedia Commons.

The August efforts mirror those reported from July, when Democrats registered 8,121 active voters compared to 3,705 active voters for Republicans. Active registered nonpartisans increased by 4,946 during the same time period.

Voter registration efforts are expected to play an important role in the presidential race in Nevada, one of a handful of battleground states expected to determine whether President Obama wins a second term or if his challenger Mitt Romney succeeds him in 2013.

But the presidential contest isn’t the only race in play. In addition to the U.S. Senate race between Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., and Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., there are many other important down ballot races.

Among those viewed as vital by both parties are five state Senate seats, which will determine if Democrats retain their majority in the 2013 legislative session or if Republicans take control of the 21-member Senate.

Democrats have added to their totals in the seats since the end of registration for the May primary.

Democrats now have an 11-10 edge in the state Senate, and Republicans are trying to take control for the 2013 session. Republicans need to win four of the five seats to take an 11-10 majority. Four of the five seats in play are in Southern Nevada and the fifth is in Reno.

In Senate District 5, where Republican and former Henderson city councilman Steve Kirk is facing Democrat and former state Sen. Joyce Woodhouse, Democrats have added to their registration edge. Democrats had a 1,680 voter advantage as the close of registration for the June primary, and a 2,127 edge as of the end of August. Democrats are 40.4 percent of the voters in the district; Republicans are 36.6 percent.

In Senate District 6, where GOP attorney Mark Hutchison faces Democrat Benny Yerushalmi, Democrats had a 1,890 voter advantage at the primary, and now lead by 2,797. Democrats have 41.7 percent of active voters in the district compared to 37.1 percent for Republicans.

In Senate District 9, where Republican Mari Nakashima St. Martin faces Democrat Justin Jones, Democrats have improved their advantage from 1,917 voters at the primary to 2,648 at the end of August. Democrats have 39.9 percent of voters compared to 34.3 percent for the GOP.

In Senate District 18, where Republican Assemblyman Scott Hammond faces Democrat Kelli Ross, Republicans have seen their 1,653 voter edge as of the primary decline to 1,351 as of the end of August. Republicans have 39.9 percent of the voters compared to 37.6 percent for Democrats.

In the Reno race in Senate District 15 between Sen. Greg Brower, R-Reno, and former state Sen. Sheila Leslie, D-Reno, Republicans have seen their 1,404 GOP edge as of the primary decline slightly to 1,355 at the end of August. It was a tiny gain for the GOP from July, however. Republicans have 39.7 percent of voters to 37.8 percent for Democrats.

Democrats Outdo GOP In Voter Registration In July, Gain Ground In Five Critical State Senate Races

By Sean Whaley | 12:35 pm August 3rd, 2012

CARSON CITY – Democrats continued to outpace their Republican counterparts in voter registration efforts in July, the Secretary of State’s office reported this week.

Democrats registered 8,121 active voters, while Republicans registered 3,705 active voters. Active registered nonpartisans increased by 4,946 during the same time period.

Of the 1,096,782 active registered voters statewide, 41.1 percent, or 451,066, are Democrats, 36.7 percent, or 402,471, are Republicans, and 16.5 percent, or 180,366, are nonpartisans. The remainder belong to minor parties.

Photo by Tom Arthur via Wikimedia Commons.

The new numbers come as the Nevada Republican Party announced last week it is getting $166,000 from the Republican National Committee to intensify the party’s registration efforts ahead of the November general election.

The latest voter registration totals, released Thursday, also show that five critical state Senate Districts up for grabs in November remain split, with three continuing to favor Democrats and two continuing to favor Republicans.

But Democrats have gained some ground in terms of actual active voter totals in all five when compared to the numbers as of the close or registration for the June primary. The same trend is seen when the July numbers are compared to voter totals as of the end of March.

Nonpartisan voter registrations have also been on the increase in the five districts, however, both in terms of raw numbers and as a percentage of total voters from the primary through July. Nonpartisan voters, who will play a significant role in each of the races, range from a high of 19.4 percent in Senate 9 to a low of 15.8 percent in Senate 6.

Democrats now have an 11-10 edge in the state Senate, and Republicans are trying to take control for the 2013 session. Republicans need to win four of the five seats to take an 11-10 majority. Four of the five seats in play are in Southern Nevada and the fifth is in Reno.

In Senate District 5, where Republican and former Henderson city councilman Steve Kirk is facing Democrat and former state Sen. Joyce Woodhouse, Democrats have added to their registration edge. Democrats had a 1,680 voter advantage as the close of registration for the June primary, and a 1,944 advantage as of the end of July. Democrats represent 40.3 percent of active voters in the district compared to 36.9 percent for Republicans.

In Senate District 6, where GOP attorney Mark Hutchison faces Democrat Benny Yerushalmi, Democrats had a 1,890 voter advantage at the primary, and now lead by 2,386. Democrats have 41.6 percent of active voters in the district compared to 37.5 percent for Republicans.

In Senate District 9, where Republican Mari Nakashima St. Martin faces Democrat Justin Jones, Democrats have improved their advantage from 1,917 voters at the primary to 2,354 at the end of July. Democrats have 39.8 percent of voters compared to 34.7 percent for the GOP.

In Senate District 18, where Republican Assemblyman Scott Hammond faces Democrat Kelli Ross, Republicans have seen their 1,653 voter edge as of the primary decline to 1,438 as of the end of July. Republicans have 40.2 percent of the voters compared to 37.7 percent for Democrats.

In the Reno race in Senate District 15 between Sen. Greg Brower, R-Reno, and former state Sen. Sheila Leslie, D-Reno, Democrats have gained some modest ground as well, from a 1,404 GOP edge as of the primary to 1,349 as of the end of July. Republicans have 39.8 percent of voters to 37.9 percent for Democrats.

Secretary of State Ross Miller also announced that online voter registration is now available in all but two counties, Carson City and Douglas.

 

GOP Members Of Congress Ask Governors To Reject Health Exchanges, Nevada Program Already Well Under Way

By Sean Whaley | 12:30 pm July 10th, 2012

CARSON CITY – A letter from 12 U.S. Senators and 61 members of the House to the nation’s governors asking them to oppose the creation of health care exchanges under the Affordable Care Act comes too late to have any effect in Nevada.

No members of Nevada’s Congressional delegation signed the letter, which says in part: “These expensive, complex, and intrusive exchanges impose a threat to the financial stability of our already-fragile state economies with no certainty of a limit to total enrollment numbers. By refusing to create an exchange, you will assist us in Congress to repeal this violation which will help lower the costs of doing business in your state, relative to other states that keep these financially draining exchanges in place.”

Sen. Jim DeMint of South Carolina and Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota are the first names on the letter signed only by Republicans and dated June 29.

The GOP-controlled House is set to vote this week on whether to repeal the law, but the Democratic-controlled Senate is not expected to consider such a measure.

Gov. Brian Sandoval.

GOP Gov. Brian Sandoval moved forward in the first days he took office in January 2011 to implement the Silver State Health Insurance Exchange, despite his concerns about the constitutionality of the law. The U.S. Supreme Court last month ruled most of the law constitutional. Nevada was one of 26 states to challenge the constitutionality of the law.

Sandoval announced his intentions in his 2011 State of the State address: “I firmly believe that many aspects of the law are unconstitutional, and I will continue to fight to have them overturned. In the meantime, however, the law imposes many deadlines, and we cannot wait until litigation is resolved. We must also plan for a Health Insurance Exchange so that we – and not the federal government – control the program.”

A health care exchange is basically a one-stop shop for purchasing health insurance.

Several governors have said they won’t create their own health exchanges, among them Texas Gov. Rick Perry.

Among the states that have not moved forward to create an exchange include Louisiana, Florida, Nebraska, Alabama, Oklahoma, Georgia, Indiana, Kansas, Missouri, Michigan, South Dakota, Texas, Virginia and Wisconsin.

But Nevada’s program is well along and will have a state based Exchange operational by Oct. 1, 2013. To date the Exchange has been awarded approximately $24.7 million in federal grants to pay for its establishment and implementation.

“Nevada was prudent to begin implementation over a year and a half ago rather than wait and risk federal intervention,” said Jon Hager, executive director of the Exchange, in a recent news release. “Thanks to advanced planning and foresight, Nevada is positioned to implement a state based health insurance exchange that is built with the needs of Nevadans in mind.”

The U.S. Census Bureau estimates approximately 21.3 percent of Nevadans, or 563,000 people, are uninsured. The Exchange’s mission is to increase the number of insured Nevadans by facilitating the purchase and sale of health insurance that provides quality health care through the creation of a transparent, simplified marketplace of qualified health plans.

Nevada’s exchange was created by Senate Bill 440 of the 2011 Legislature. It was passed unanimously of those voting in both the Senate and Assembly at the end of the session. Four members of the Assembly were excused and did not vote.

Democrats Outpace Republicans In Voter Registration Efforts Since May 23

By Nevada News Bureau Staff | 2:57 pm July 2nd, 2012

CARSON CITY – Democrats have registered more than twice as many voters than Republicans since the close of voter registration on May 22 for the primary election, the Secretary of State’s Elections Division reported today.

Since May 23, Democrats have registered 9,849 active voters, while Republicans have registered 4,651 active voters. Active registered nonpartisans increased by 4,462 during the same time period. Of the 1,078,951 active registrants statewide, which is an increase of 20,143 since the close of registration on May 22, 41.05 percent (442,945) are Democrats, 36.96 percent (398,766) are Republicans, and 16.26 percent (175,420) are nonpartisans.

The latest voter registration breakdowns by county, party, age, and district are available on the Secretary of State’s website.

Party Officials Agree Washoe Is Critical To Battleground State Nevada In 2012 Presidential Contest

By Sean Whaley | 2:24 pm June 4th, 2012

CARSON CITY – Washoe County Republican and Democratic Party leaders may disagree on who the best choice is for president, but they agree on one point – Washoe is the “battleground” county in the battleground state that is Nevada.

Clark County is expected to go big for Democrats and President Obama, while Nevada’s rural counties are expected to go strong for Mitt Romney. But Washoe County, where Republicans lead in voter registration by 3,700, has gone for both parties in past elections.

Courtesy of Malwack via Wikimedia Commons.

In 2008, Washoe County helped Obama win Nevada and the presidency, giving him 55 percent of the vote.

In 2010, the county went strongly for Republican Brian Sandoval in the governor’s race, although U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., won over GOP challenger Sharron Angle. The county also went for incumbent George W. Bush in the 2004 presidential election.

Today on the Nevada NewsMakers television program, county Democratic Party spokesman Chris Wicker and county GOP Chairman Dave Buell discussed Washoe’s influence in Nevada in the 2012 presidential contest.

Buell said the fact that Washoe County voters have gone in different directions in past elections make it the flashpoint in Nevada.

“So Washoe County is the place where Nevada is going to be decided, and there will be all types of resources, both on the Democrat and Republican side in this county to make sure that they carry the day for their candidate,” he said.

Wicker said Washoe is winnable by either side if some side “drops the ball.”

“It all boils down that either side, given the right circumstances, could win Washoe County,” he said.

President Obama is aware of Washoe’s importance, making an official visit to Reno last month to talk about a mortgage refinancing plan he wants Congress to approve. Nevada is clearly important overall, with the president scheduled to make another stop in Las Vegas on Thursday.

Romney was also in Las Vegas last week and campaigned around the state ahead of the February Republican caucus.

Las Vegas Sun columnist Jon Ralston, among others, has noted Washoe County’s importance in the 2012 general election.

Strong support for either candidate could also provide coattails either to U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, R-Nev., or his challenger Rep. Shelley Berkley, D-Nev., in the Senate race. Control of the U.S. Senate is also up for grabs this election year.

Buell was asked if Washoe Republicans might support Obama over Romney this year as many did for Reid over Angle in 2010. Buell downplayed any such idea, saying it was more dissatisfaction with Angle than support for the Democratic agenda that was a factor in the race. The other factor was a belief that Reid could deliver for Nevada as Senate Majority Leader, he said.

Wicker said Democrats will work to ensure a strong turnout for Obama in Washoe County by talking more about the successes of his first administration, including positive job creation numbers nationally over the past several months.

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Audio clips:

Dave Buell says either party can win Washoe in 2012:

060412Buell :23 for their candidate.”

Chris Wicker agrees that Clark County will go for Democrats and the rurals for Republicans:

060412Wicker :16 in the rurals.”

 

Many Nevada Lawmaker PACs Show Modest Contributions In First Report Of 2012

By Sean Whaley | 4:14 pm May 23rd, 2012

CARSON CITY – Political Action Committees formed by state lawmakers to help their candidates win seats in the Legislature are off to a slow start in fundraising, according to campaign finance reports filed this week with Secretary of State’s office.

Many of the lawmaker-created PACs reported no contributions in the first campaign contribution and expense report filed Tuesday and reflecting financial activity from Jan. 1 through May 18 of 2012.

More lawmakers are forming their own PACs in an effort to both help their party’s candidates and to wield more influence.

Graphic courtesy of KRNV.

The “A Brighter Nevada” PAC formed by state Sen. Joe Hardy, R-Boulder City, received only $1,000, according to its filing. The “Battle Born Leadership Group” PAC formed by Assemblyman John Hambrick, R-Las Vegas, reported no contributions.

But a few of the committees did report some more significant contributions.

The Assembly Republican Caucus brought in $95,000, including $10,000 from the Keystone Corp., and spent $70,000, including a $5,000 contribution to the Committee to Elect Wes Duncan. Duncan is running for the Assembly District 37 seat in Las Vegas now held by Assembly Majority Leader Marcus Conklin.

Conklin’s Nevada First PAC reported no contributions.

The Senate Majority PAC formed by Sen. Michael Roberson, R-Las Vegas, brought in $34,500, including $5,000 from Station Casinos. It also contributed $10,000 each to GOP Senate candidates Mari Nakashima St. Martin and Mark Hutchison. The PAC also took in $160,000 in 2011.

The Majority 2012 PAC formed by Sen. Mo Denis, D-Las Vegas, reported $7,500 in contributions in 2012. It also took in $15,000 in 2011. It contributed $5,000 to each of four Senate Democrat candidates: Sheila Leslie, Joyce Woodhouse, Justin Jones and Benny Yerushalmi.

The two main Senate caucus reports showed bigger numbers in the first report of 2012, with Democrats out-raising Republicans $187,000 to $149,000.

The Nevada Democratic Party also won the fundraising race in the first 2012 report over the Republican Party. The Democratic Party took in $465,000, while the Republican Party brought in only $75,000 in contributions.

All of these numbers will change after the primary as the parties and caucuses gear up for the November general election.

Republicans Lead In Fundraising In Critical State Senate Races But Democrats Argue They Have Broader Support

By Sean Whaley | 3:27 pm May 23rd, 2012

CARSON CITY – Republican candidates have big leads in fundraising in four of five seats considered critical to control of the state Senate in the 2013 legislative session, with a slight monetary advantage in the fifth, according to campaign contribution reports filed this week.

Both Democrat and Republican caucus leaders are fighting hard to win the seats to control the 21-member house where Democrats now lead 11-10.

The first reports of 2012 show contributions through May 18 and were filed Tuesday with the state Secretary of State’s office. Several candidates also raised money in 2011 and these amounts have given the GOP candidates the funding edge early on in the 2012 election season.

Republican caucus leader Sen. Michael Roberson, R-Las Vegas, is optimistic that the GOP can retake control of the Senate in the November general election. Republicans need to win four of the five seats to do so.

Democratic Senate leader Mo Denis, D-Las Vegas, is equally confident Democrats will maintain control.

Roberson said he is pleased with where the Senate candidates are right now, but added that it is a long time until November. Roberson also said he is pleased but not surprised at the level of contributions to the candidates and the caucus.

“I know the caliber of the candidates we have,” he said. “The group of candidates that agreed to run this time on the Republican side, our endorsed candidates, are some of the best candidates either party has seen in 20 years.”

But Senate Democrats point out that two of their candidates, Justin Jones and Sheila Leslie, both had larger numbers of individuals contributing to their campaigns than their GOP counterparts in the 2012 reports, suggesting they have a broader base of support. A third candidate, Joyce Woodhouse, also out-raised her opponent in the 2012 report.

The Senate Democratic Caucus also out-raised its Republican counterpart so far in 2012, $187,000 to $149,000.

“The recent finance reports show that the Senate Democratic Caucus is a very strong position to expand and protect the majority,” said Mike Luce, executive director of the Nevada Senate Democrats. “We have very strong candidates and the registration in these new districts favors Democrats.

“We have been  saying all along that the Democratic candidates are running strong campaigns and talking about bringing jobs to this state,” he said. “Our message is working, our campaigns are knocking doors and raising the necessary funds to run competitive races.”

In Senate District 5, where former Henderson city councilman Steve Kirk, a Republican, is expected to face Woodhouse, a former state senator, in the November general election, the GOP has the edge in contributions so far. But Kirk has also spent much of his war chest already.

Kirk reports $131,000 in total contributions and expenses of $67,000. Kirk has a primary battle. Kirk received a $5,000 contribution from the Retail Association of Nevada in the first reporting period this year.

Woodhouse reports raising about $96,000 and spending $18,000. She has large contributions from the Nevada State Education Association, $5,000; outgoing state Sen. Mike Schneider, D-Las Vegas, $5,000; and Nevada Senate Democrats, $5,000; in the first reporting period for this year.

The other Republican in the Senate 5 race, Annette Teijeiro, reports about $28,000 in contributions and $15,000 in expenses. The primary is June 12.

Author: David Ball, via Wikimedia Commons.

In Senate District 6, where GOP attorney Mark Hutchison is expected to face businessman and Democrat Benny Yerushalmi, Republicans also have a fundraising advantage.

Hutchison reports $185,000 in contributions and nearly $48,000 expenses. Contributions include $5,000 from the Keystone Corp., $5,000 from the Retail Association of Nevada and $10,000 from the Senate Republican Leadership Conference.

Yerushalmi reports $74,000 in contributions and $10,000 in expenses. He has a primary against Thomas Welsh. Yerushalmi, who ran unsuccessfully for a state Senate seat in 2010, has $4,000 contributions from both the Nevada State Education Association and the Clark County Education Association.

In Senate District 9, where Republican Mari Nakashima St. Martin is expected to face Democrat Justin Jones, the candidates are fairly evenly matched. Both face primary opponents. Brent Jones is also a GOP candidate, and Frederick Conquest has filed as a Democrat.

St. Martin reports nearly $114,000 in contributions and $60,000 in expenses. Contributions include $10,000 from the Senate Majority Political Action Committee, $10,000 from the Jobs First PAC, and $10,000 from the Senate Republican Leadership Conference.

Justin Jones reports nearly $112,000 in contributions and $23,000 in expenses. Contributions include $2,500 from U.S. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid’s Searchlight Leadership Fund.

GOP candidate Brent Jones has raised nearly $33,000 in contributions.

In the Senate 15 race where incumbent Greg Brower, R-Reno, will face Leslie, who resigned her Senate 13 seat to challenge the attorney who was appointed to fill out the term of the late Sen. Bill Raggio, the Republican is leading in the fund-raising race.

Brower reports $299,000 in contributions and $76,000 in expenditures, with a $7,279 donation from the Las Vegas Sands Corp.

Leslie reports $141,000 in total contributions and $58,000 in expenses. Her contributions include $2,000 from R&R Partners, $5,000 from the Laborers’ Intl Local 169, and $8,700 from the Barbara Buckley Campaign. Buckley is a former Assembly speaker.

In Senate District 18, where Assemblyman Scott Hammond, R-Las Vegas, is likely to face Democrat Kelli Ross in November, Hammond reports $127,000 in contributions and $70,000 in expenses. Contributions include $2,500 from Station Casinos and $5,000 from MGM Resorts International.

Hammond raised $59,000 in the first 2012 reporting period from Jan. 1 through May 18. He also raised $68,000 in 2011.

Hammond, who is endorsed by the GOP Senate Caucus, and who faces a primary challenge from Assemblyman Richard McArthur, R-Las Vegas, is well ahead in contributions. McArthur reports about $16,000 in total donations. Republican Conrad Vergara, has also filed.

Ross, who has a primary against Democrat Donna Schlemmer, reports $47,000 in contributions and $5,500 in expenses. She received $10,000 from the Committee to Elect Steve Ross and $5,000 from the Committee to Elect Tom Collins.

Schlemmer has raised about $7,000.

Democrats have a voter registration edge in three Clark County races: Senate 5 by 40.6 percent to 37.5 percent for Republicans; in Senate 6 by 41.4 percent to 38.2 percent; and in Senate 9 by 39.6 percent to 35.3 percent, based on registration numbers through April.

Republicans lead in Senate 15 in Washoe County, 40 percent to 38 percent, and in Senate District 18 in Clark County, 40.7 percent to 37.6 percent.

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Audio clips:

Sen. Michael Roberson says he is pleased with where the Senate candidates are but that it is a long time yet to November:

052312Roberson1 :14 sure we’re successful.”

Roberson says the GOP Senate candidates are some of the best in the past 20 years:

052312Roberson2 :20 in 20 years.”