Sen. Neal's re-election battle highlights XGR primaries

Veteran state Sen. Joe Neal won re-election Tuesday, avoiding a November runoff by a bare five-vote majority.

By getting barely more than half the votes, Neal, D-North Las Vegas, avoided a November general election battle against Uri Clinton, heavily backed by the casino industry that Neal had targeted for higher taxes.

Neal received 2,028 votes to Clinton's 1,818.

Christopher Montanez also was in the race but didn't campaign. He ran a distant third. No Republicans entered the race for the seat Neal has held since 1972.

Clinton raised more money than Neal - $55,211 to Neal's $50,507, with more than half of his money coming from casinos fighting the incumbent's plan to raise taxes on Nevada's biggest gambling resorts.

Under Nevada law, Neal would have faced a runoff against Clinton in November if he had received half of the votes - or 2,022 - or less in the primary balloting.

The battle for Neal's seat highlighted more than two dozen legislative primary races decided Tuesday.

Other state Senate primaries:

-Sen. Ray Shaffer, D-North Las Vegas, defeated Democratic challenger Harold Giron; and Republican Richard Gardner beat Tino Mendoza in the GOP primary for the same Senate seat.

-Sen. Ann O'Connell, R-Las Vegas, defeated challenger Frank Mathews in the GOP primary. Chuck Hawk beat Ron Moers in the Democratic primary for the same seat.

-Sen. Ray Rawson, R-Las Vegas, outpaced Britt Merson in the Republican primary. The winner will face Democrat Terrie Stanfill in the general election, plus two splinter party candidates.

-Sen. Dean Rhoads, R-Tuscarora, defeated Gene Gustin in the GOP primary. Rhoads, a longtime legislator credited with starting a ''sagebrush rebellion'' to gain control of federal lands in Nevada, will face Libertarian Billy Oswald in November.

Here's a summary of state Assembly primaries:


Dist. 1: Ed Gobel defeated Chris Grant in the Republican primary.

Dist. 7: Assemblyman Morse Arberry, D-Las Vegas, beat former lawmaker Marion Bennett in the Democratic primary; and Chester Richardson defeated Mabel Lucier in the GOP primary.

Dist. 8: Assemblywoman Barbara Buckley, D-Las Vegas, defeated Maureen Hart in the Democratic primary.

Dist. 11: Michael Wisner defeated Todd Poulton in the Republican primary.

Dist. 12: Assemblywoman Genie Ohrenschall, D-Las Vegas, defeated Ed Flores in the Democratic primary.

Dist. 14: Assemblywoman Ellen Koivisto, D-Las Vegas, defeated David Brown in the Democratic primary.

Dist. 15: Assemblywoman Kathy McClain, D-Las Vegas, defeated Ron Tanner in the Democratic primary; and former lawmaker Jack Close Sr. started a legislative comeback by defeating Lila Halperin in the GOP primary.

Dist. 16: John Oceguera defeated Wayne Wieswasser in the Democratic primary; and Jack McClary defeated Leonard Root were in the GOP primary.

Dist. 17: Terry Holtz defeated Bob Campagna in the GOP primary.

Dist. 20: Bradley Smith defeated Thomas Welsh in the Democratic primary.

Dist. 21: Larry Bettis defeated Rod Kirk in the Democratic primary.

Dist. 28: Assemblywoman Vonne Chowning, D-North Las Vegas, defeated Judi Lynn in the Democratic primary.

Dist. 41: Phillip Dane was defeated by John Richie in the Republican primary.


Dist. 24: Brooks Holcomb defeated Sher Hardin in the Republican primary.

Dist. 30: Gary Keller was defeated by Keith Primus in the Republican primary.

Dist. 37: Assemblyman Greg Brower, R-Reno, defeated Buddy Wright in the GOP primary.


Dist. 34: Veteran Assemblyman John Marvel, R-Battle Mountain, defeated challengers Tom Fransway and Kimberlie Davis in the GOP primary.

Dist. 36: Gary Hollis was ahead of Keith Markley in the GOP primary.


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