Tuesday, June 12, 2012 | 10:39 p.m.
The establishment GOP candidates for state Senate made a clean sweep Tuesday over the more conservative candidates, giving Republican leaders the races they wanted in their effort to take over the state's upper house.
In the most competitive races:
• In Senate District 9, Mari Nakashima St. Martin, endorsed by the caucus, topped Brent Jones, 54 to 46 percent, with 100 percent of precincts reporting, according to the Clark County Registrar of Voters. That had become one of the nastiest races of the cycle, with both candidates leveling personal attacks.
• In Senate District 18, Assemblyman Scott Hammond, R-Las Vegas, defeated Assemblyman Richard McArthur, R-Las Vegas, 56 to 41 percent. Hammond was endorsed by the caucus.
Both those seats are in competitive districts. And both Jones and McArthur signed pledges not to raise taxes, and were also outspent by the caucus-backed candidates.
Senate Republicans need to win four out of five competitive seats in November to take back control of the state's upper house for the first time since 2007.