Dr. Robin Titus’s strong showing in Lyon County on Tuesday and capturing almost 40 percent of the vote in Churchill County were key factors to her successfully winning the Republican primary for Assembly District 38.
Former Yerington Mayor Tom Grady could not run for re-election because of term limits.
Titus, making her first run for public office, defeated Norm Frey, the former four-term Churchill County commissioner and chairman, 3,106-2603.
Titus easily defeated Frey in Lyon County, 2,260-1205, but Frey prevailed in Churchill County, 1,398-846.
Early voting results and ballots from Yerington and Smith Valley gave Titus a huge lead before votes from Fernley and Silver Springs were counted.
A heavy turnout of Lyon County voters also turned out for the sheriff’s race.
In Churchill County’s early voting, 1,269 Republicans voted, and 75 sent in absentee ballots. For all parties, 1,787 residents voted early or sent in absentee ballots.
Secretary of State Ross Miller reported Tuesday that turnout was just fewer than 19.2 percent.
Miller had projected turnout would be from 15 percent to 20 percent ... leaving a chance Nevada could post the lowest primary election turnout in 52 years.
The record low since 1962 was 18 percent in 2008.
As ballots were tallied in unofficial results, Miller’s office reported that 128,092 early and mail-in absentee votes were cast, or 57 percent of the total 221,503.
The state has just fewer than 471,000 registered Democrats and just over 407,000 registered Republicans.
Titus said Wednesday she took the fight to Churchill County, figuring that she would have to capture about 40 percent of the vote to defeat Frey. She finished with 37.7 percent.
“I knocked on doors and got out there,” she said. “I have friends and a brother-in-law who live in Fallon so that helped.”
Titus said Frey was shocked with the door-to-door approach. According to the Smith Valley doctor, she knocked on a resident’s door who lived near the hospital, and Frey was inside having coffee with the owner.
Titus said she met with various Churchill County groups and also discussed the local issues with Natalie Parrish, executive director of the Fallon Chamber of Commerce. Titus said she received the backing of many prominent Fernley leaders.
Whereas Frey barely tapped into the Churchill County media, Titus did by advertising on Fallon’s two radio stations and in the newspaper. She also advertised in Lyon County media that covers Yerington and Dayton.
Frey said he is appreciative of the people who voted for him. He said Lyon County had a higher percentage of people voting because of other races.
“The sheriff’s race brought a lot more people out in Lyon,” Frey said.
As both Titus and Frey said when they filed, this would be a campaign to highlight each person’s qualifications; as a result, no negative mudslinging appeared.
Titus said she and Frey have known each other for years, graduating the same year from high school (different schools) and the University of Nevada. Their families settled in Nevada at about the same time.
Titus said both candidates stuck to the issues.
“I found this race energizing and fun, and I stuck to the issues,” she said. “This is what a good campaign is about.”
Frey said he and Titus will get together, and they will discuss the problems common to both counties. Frey said he will introduce Titus to the political and business leaders of Churchill County so she can reach out to them.
Frey, though, said he will still remain active in water issues and will serve on a committee for the Nevada Association of Counties.
The other local race in Churchill County involved the Tenth Judicial Court race. Judge Tom Stockard was unopposed and will now serve a six-year term. Likewise, Judge Leon Aberasturi of Fernley, who formerly shared duties in Fallon, also ran unopposed and will serve another term.
Republican Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval steamrolled to victory Tuesday.
The state’s first Hispanic governor captured more than 90 percent of the first 65,000 votes counted Tuesday night, with 5 percent of the precincts statewide reporting.
Sandoval will face Robert Goodman, a retired state economic development commissioner, who emerged Tuesday from a field of eight candidates that included a casino executive, a lawyer, an artist and a radio show host.
Carson City’s Ron Knecht rolled to a 53 percent victory in the Republican primary for the state controller post.
Knecht was leading three others with more than 50,000 votes, with more than 65 percent reporting.
Knecht, a current Nevada regent, will face Democrat Andrew Martin in November and Tom Jones, an Independent American.
The winner will replace Kim Wallin, who is termed out of office.
State Sen. Mark Hutchison defeated one-time U.S. Senate hopeful Sue Lowden, who lost the 2010 primary to tea party darling Sharron Angle in the race for Sen. Harry Reid’s seat.
Huthison will face Democrat Lucy Flores, a two-term assemblywoman from Las Vegas who also easily won her primary with more than 70 percent of the vote. Flores has U.S. Sen. Harry Reid’s support.