Record number of candidates generate $12,000
A record two dozen candidates filed for Nevada’s U.S. Senate seat this year – more than twice that of any previous year.
According to the Secretary of State’s Nevada Political History, 10 candidates in 1972 had been largest primary field for U.S. Senate since the state began holding primaries in 1910. Most years saw four to six.
With Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid as the lightning rod for a wide spectrum of criticism, Republicans alone beat the 1972 record with 13 candidates.
The 12 primary candidates for governor, on the other hand, is more normal, according to a review of the political history. That race generally sees 10 to 14 candidates.
The opposition to Republican incumbent Jim Gibbons, however, is unusual. Incumbents usually have an unopposed, or nearly so, primary. Gibbons has four Republican opponents this year including former North Las Vegas Mayor Mike Montandon and former Assemblyman, Attorney General and federal judge Brian Sandoval.
More candidates, more money for state
The U.S. Senate race, at $500, is the most expensive race on the ballot to enter.
That fee, while low compared to many states, generated $12,000 for the state treasury.
Secretary of State Ross Miller pointed out that he and his staff asked lawmakers during the recent special session to consider raising those filing fees. He said it would have raised a lot of money to charge, for example, what California does:
2 percent of the salary the office holder receives. In California, he said, it costs a candidate more than $4,000 to file for U.S. Senate.
Miller said his office only keeps fees for federal, statewide offices and legislative districts that encompass more than one county. Fees for offices contained entirely within a county go to that county.
The state received $1,800 in fees from the six candidates for the congressional seat held by Dean Heller and $3,600 from the 12 candidates for governor – all at $300 apiece.
At $200 apiece, the state got $4,200 from the 21 candidates seeking one of the state’s other five constitutional offices. The Secretary of State also collected $1,400 from 14 candidates for multi-county state Senate districts and $2,500 from the 25 multi-county Assembly candidates. Legislative offices all cost $100 to file for.
Finally, the office took in $600 in fees from two unopposed incumbents seeking new terms on the state Supreme Court.
Each county also keeps all the filing fees from its local candidates, which are generally about $30. Offices such as GIDs and town boards, which don’t offer a salary don’t have filing fees.