Sandoval disappointed with low voter turnout, surprised by Kite’s loss |

Sandoval disappointed with low voter turnout, surprised by Kite’s loss

Gov. Brian Sandoval said Wednesday he was very disappointed by the turnout in Tuesday’s primaries.

But he said he’s confident it will be significantly better in the fall when the presidential race tops the ballot.

“I was surprised to see Kelly Kite lost,” he said, referring to the freshman incumbent’s defeat by tea party supporter Jim Wheeler in Douglas County. “Kelly is a good man, but Mr. Wheeler will have my support.”

He conceded, in a news conference following the Board of Examiners meeting, that the Republican Party needs to get its act together.

“Everybody is hopeful the Republican Party will get organized,” Sandoval said.

Despite opposition from Southern Nevada’s workforce investment officials, he said he intends to ask federal permission to dissolve the southern and northern local boards and have the state assume control of the funding. That move requires approval from the federal Labor Department.

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The decision was made after an audit by the executive branch internal audit division showed a lot of the money going to administration and other costs rather than training programs for the unemployed in southern Nevada.

“A lot of money wasn’t getting to the people who need it,” Sandoval said.

He said once the system is reorganized and centralized in state hands, “the folks in the south will be very well represented on the state workforce investment board.”

He predicted they will eventually see that the decision was in the best interest of the programs receiving the money and the trainees.

Predictably, Sandoval said he opposes the teacher’s union’s proposed tax on businesses.

“I don’t support initiative petitions on tax policy,” he said adding that setting taxes by petition is one reason for California’s astronomical deficit.

He said those businesses will already have to pay back the $800 million the state employment security division has borrowed to make unemployment benefits payments during the recession and the proposed tax would just be another burden on businesses trying to recover.