Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo in Carson City on June 30, 2021.
Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo said Wednesday he’s running for governor to head off some of the changes being made by Democrats in Carson City.
“I don’t like the direction the state of Nevada is currently going,” he said in an interview in Carson City on Wednesday.
He emphasized that he’s running to be governor, not as a stepping stone for other future offices.
One key issue he said is his disagreement with how Gov. Steve Sisolak handled the pandemic and economic shut down.
“I believe the governor’s response (to COVID) was flawed,” he said.
Lombardo, 58, has spent his entire law enforcement career at Metro.
“I have 33 years of crisis management,” he said. “Things could have been done differently.”
He said one of the problems is one party rule in Carson City with Democrat majorities in the Senate and Assembly as well as a Democrat governor.
“The foundation of our nation’s government is two-party rule, a little discourse in the middle and, hopefully, consensus,” he said adding that isn’t happening right now.
Lombardo said with Democrats in control of reapportionment, they could end up with supermajorities in both legislative houses. He said electing him governor would provide some balance.
“What better position than the position of governor to push back on that group think,” he said.
He said universal mail-in ballots should be more targeted instead of sent to every registered voter and that ballot harvesting needs to be stopped. He said voter ID has strong support from Nevadans.
“We need to create an environment where it’s easy to vote but hard to cheat,” he said.
Lombardo said lawmakers in the last two years “moved too fast” on criminal justice reform. He blamed some of those reforms for rising crime rates, including homicides, which are up 20-25 percent this past year in Clark County. He said Democrats are increasing felon rights, not victim rights.
“Some reforms were needed and were done but everybody still thinks there needs to be more, more, more.”
He said that’s true across the country, not just in Nevada.
Lombardo said reaction to his candidacy has been positive and that fund raising is successful so far.
“If they see you are a viable candidate, they’re going to support you,” he said.
Lombardo arrived in the north two days ago and has visited Reno and Lake Tahoe as well as Carson City. He and his team were headed to Fernley on Wednesday afternoon followed by a road trip across the state to Winnemucca, Battle Mountain and other communities.