The battle over the 2015 tax package cost four Sandoval-backed Republicans their party’s nomination Tuesday night, but five incumbents and one new GOP candidate who supported the tax plan won their primaries.
Gov. Brian Sandoval not only endorsed those who helped him with the education funding plan but contributed to their campaigns as well as the campaigns of a couple of more moderate newcomers.
The casualties included two Assembly incumbents, one of them Carson City’s P.K. O’Neill who fell 161 votes short of former city treasurer Al Kramer’s total.
The other was Glenn Trowbridge in Clark County District 37 who lost to Jim Marchant. The victor will have a fight on his hands against Democrat Sean Lyttle in the general since the GOP registration advantage in District 37 is just 231 votes.
Kramer’s opponents are Democrat Michael Greedy and IAP candidate John Wagner.
Assemblyman Erv Nelson of Las Vegas was beaten in his bid for Senate District 6 seat by fellow Assembly member Victoria Seaman. That race was all about her opposition to the tax package and Nelson’s vote to support it.
Seaman, however, isn’t a shoe-in to claim the seat since it’s voter registration is Democratic by 3,844 votes — 27,424 to 23,580 with 12,178 non-partisans. Democrats aren’t about to surrender the seat. Nicole Cannizzaro is her opponent in November and is receiving strong party backing.
Finally, Jason Guinasso, a Reno lawyer backed by Sandoval, was beaten by Lisa Krasner in the primary to replace retired District 26 Assemblyman Randy Kirner. Since no other candidates filed, she’s the winner.
The list of Assembly Republicans who backed the tax package includes a few who decided not to seek re-election including Reno’s Pat Hickey and Kirner.
Those who ran again and survived the primaries are David Gardner, James Oscarson, Stephen Silverkraus, Derek Armstrong, Majority Leader Paul Anderson, Speaker John Hambrick and Melissa Woodbury.
Gardner beat GOP National Committeewoman Diana Orrock to claim his nomination.
Silberkraus faces former Assemblywoman Leslie Cohen in the General while Gardner faces Democrat Steven Yeager.
Oscarson faces brothel owner Dennis Hof who’s running as a Libertarian.
Hidden in the registration numbers is the fact Gardner, Armstrong and Silberkraus are in Democratic leaning districts. If Democratic turnout is high in November, they could be casualties — especially Gardner in AD 9 race where the Ds hold a 12,351 to 10,004 registration advantage.
As the contests now move toward the General Election, both major parties agree turnout is key. Democrats, who were swamped by the GOP turnout two years ago, are looking for a much better year with both the race for President and the U.S. Senate seat held by retiring Harry Reid on the ballot.