Wednesday, Nov. 5, 2008 | 12:57 a.m.
Question on the Street
In the Democratic wave that overtook Nevada Tuesday as Barack Obama took the state, only two things saved Republicans seeking office in Southern Nevada — a well-known name or no Democratic opponent.
Republicans took a beating in Henderson and throughout Southern Nevada in races for Congress, County Commission and the state Legislature.
State Assembly candidate Melissa Woodbury, daughter of popular longtime County Commissioner Bruce Woodbury, and incumbent Assemblyman Lynn Stewart, who had no major-party challenger, were the only Republicans to win at any level in Henderson.
Unofficial results from Clark County had Democrat Dina Titus deposing three-term Republican incumbent Jon Porter in Nevada's 3rd Congressional District, 47 percent to 42 percent.
"I'm just very excited to be part of these winds of change that are blowing across Nevada and the country, and I'm looking forward to getting to Washington and working to bring about that change," Titus said.
Porter, who garnered criticism for the negative tone of his campaign, could not be reached for comment. Hours after the results were announced, Titus said she had not heard from him.
"All that negative, awful stuff just didn't stick," she said. "We tried to stay positive and that was the way to go."
Elsewhere throughout the Henderson area, other Democratic candidates enjoyed similar victories.
In the race to succeed Bruce Woodbury on the County Commission, Democrat Steve Sisolak won a close race against Republican Brian Scroggins, defeating with 47.5 percent to 46.3 percent.
Sisolak said it was difficult to campaign against Scroggins, who had Woodbury's support, but he was proud of his campaign team for making the win possible. Sisolak, who is finishing his final term on the State Board of Regents, said he is ready to switch gears.
"First, I'm going to spend a lot of time studying the county's budget so that I can bring a fresh set of eyes and a new perspective to it, so that we can make some cuts and make the county fiscally stable," he said.
Scroggins said Nevada's pro-Democratic climate during the election season posed a challenge, but said he felt the big difference in his race was money and Sisolak's 2-1 spending advantage.
"(The political climate) may have had some attributing factor, but I think it had to do more with the fact that he contributed so much of his own money," Scroggins said.
At the state Senate level, Democrat Shirley Breeden, who was a no-show at several town hall events, narrowly edged Republican incumbent Joe Heck, 46.6 percent to 45.8 percent, less than 1,000 votes.
In the state Assembly, three of Henderson's four races did not feature an incumbent. In District 21, Democrat Ellen Spiegel defeated Republican Jon Ozark, 51 percent to 49 percent. Ozark had defeated incumbent Bob Beers in the Republican primary in August.
In District 23, Republican Melissa Woodbury defeated Democrat Allison Herr, 52 percent to 48 percent, to win the seat vacated by Democrat RoseMary Womack, who chose not to seek re-election.
In District 29, Democrat April Mastroluca held on to the seat vacated by Democrat Susan Gerhardt, with a relatively large victory over Republican Sean Fellows, 54 percent to 46 percent.
Assemblyman Lynn Stewart, the lone incumbent in the Henderson area, handily won another term in District 22 with 64 percent of the vote over a pair of third-party challengers.
Jeremy Twitchell can be reached at 990-8928 or firstname.lastname@example.org.