No big name Democrat files against Sandoval

With the filing period now closed, many races have a full slate of candidates. But the much anticipated “respectable” Democratic challenger for Gov. Brian Sandoval never materialized.

A total of 15 candidates, including nine Democrats, filed against Sandoval but none is a big name likely to generate the kind of attention and financial contributions needed to make the governor work for the win. Several would best be categorized as perennial candidates.

Sandoval, however, reported contributions of more than $3 million in his initial campaign report, money he can now use to meddle in other races.

In an interview in February, Sen. Harry Reid said Democrats will field a “respectable candidate” to oppose the Republican incumbent.

Likewise, freshman Republican Mark Amodei faces five challengers in Congressional District 2 but the only one with significant name recognition is Independent American Janine Hansen of Elko who has unsuccessfully sought elected office in every election for more than a decade.

Congressional District 4, however, is likely to be a real contest for incumbent freshman Democrat Steven Horsford of Las Vegas.

The premier Republican challenger is Mesquite Assemblyman Cresent Hardy who has strong party backing.

Despite having a Democratic voter registration advantage of more than 30,000, a large swath of that district is in Republican rural Nevada and, in an off year election, the GOP has traditionally been better at turning out the vote. That fact could make District 4 a tight race.

Further complicating the race is the fact that Horsford and Hardy are among nine candidates in the running.

One candidate who won’t have to spend money this cycle is Gardnerville Republican James Settelmeyer. At the close of filing Friday, he didn’t have an opponent in his bid for a second term in the Nevada Senate.

High profile races

Since many believe Sandoval will run against Sen. Harry Reid midway through his second term, a lot of attention is focused on who will become lieutenant governor and, if Sandoval unseats Reid, will take the governor post. Sandoval attempted to anoint state Sen. Mark Hutchison as the Republican nominee but former state Sen. Sue Lowden is challenging him. The victor will probably face Democratic Assemblywoman Lucy Flores of Las Vegas in the General Election but, in her first statewide race, she isn’t a shoe-in to win the primary.

Another race expected to draw a lot of attention is for Secretary of State. Termed out Treasurer Kate Marshall is the only Democrat. Termed out state Sen. Barbara Cegavske is the only Republican. The third candidate in the race is Tim Reinhardt of the Nevada Green party.

The same with the race for Attorney General. Jonathan Hansen filed as an Independent American but all eyes will be on termed out Secretary of State Ross Miller, a Democrat and son of former governor Bob Miller, versus Republican Adam Laxalt, whose grandfather Paul was both governor and U.S. senator for Nevada more than 30 years ago.


In Carson City’s Assembly District 40, four have filed to replace retiring Republican Pete Livermore including two well-known Republicans.

Jed Block is a native of the capital with an extensive history of civic involvement. A third-generation Nevadan, he owns a registered agent business. P.K. O’Neill is a retired law enforcement officer with a long history of state service and Livermore’s endorsement.

Dave Cook, a member of the state Board of Education, is the Democrat in the race. Veteran IAP candidate John Wagner has also filed.

Two are challenging Republican Jim Wheeler in Douglas County’s District 39. Robin Reedy, former Chief of Staff to Gov. Jim Gibbons, and Independent American Al Giordano have both filed.

In district 38 vacated by termed out tom Grady, there are four candidates, including Republicans Dr. Robin Titus of Wellington and former Churchill County Commissioner Norm Frey. Tim Fasano filed for the Independent American Party and John O’Conner as a Libertarian.


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