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Election 2010: First candidate contribution reports filed

Nevada candidates filed their first contribution and expense reports Friday, but the report political observers most wanted to see wasn’t there.

Gov. Jim Gibbons opted to send his report to the Secretary of State’s Elections Division by certified mail instead of walking down the Capitol hallway and handing it in. Under Nevada law, that’s legal as long as the report is postmarked before 5 p.m.

The reason, according to more than one in the Gibbons camp, is the low amount of money the governor has been able to raise.

Gibbons’ biggest opponent in the Republican primary, Brian Sandoval, turned in a report showing he has raised more than $900,000 in the three months since he resigned from the U.S. District Court bench.

Former North Las Vegas Mayor Mike Montandon, also running in the GOP primary, raised $306,264. He has already spent more than $274,000.

Rory Reid, chairman of the Clark County Commission and the leading Democrat in the race, filed a report showing more than $3.3 million in contributions.

Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki, who was battling a criminal indictment until early December, raised $140,000 in his bid for re-election, with $104,000 of that coming since Dec. 20 after the charges were dropped.

In the state Senate race for the Capital District, former Carson Mayor Ray Masayko’s report had not been posted as of 5 p.m. Friday. But Assem-blyman James Settelmeyer’s report showed contributions totaling $50,000.

In the Nevada Senate district being vacated by Randolph Townsend of Reno, Assemblyman Ty Cobb reported total contributions of $123,220. More than $70,000 of that total was carried over from his last campaign. His opponent in the Republican primary, Ben Kieckhefer, reported $54,700 in contributions. The district includes parts of northern Carson City and Lake Tahoe, Washoe Valley and south Reno.

Reports are expected to continue coming in well into next week as those sent by certified mail arrive at the Elections Division.

Candidates in all multi-county districts as well as statewide candidates are required to file with the Secretary of State. Those seeking offices confined to just one district file with their county clerk. However, many of those who should file with the state make the mistake of doing so in their own county instead. The state has traditionally forgiven that error as long as the report was there before the deadline.

Candidates must file three campaign contribution and expense reports during an election cycle. That requirement remains even if a candidate files for the race after the first reporting deadline or withdraws during the race. Election filing closes

March 12.

Elections Division officials advise all candidates that the only way to escape that three-report requirement is to die during the campaign.