Las Vegas Sun

August 18, 2018

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Gubernatorial candidates make last pre-primary pitches to voters

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John Locher / AP

Nevada Attorney General Adam Laxalt speaks with members of the media at a campaign event Monday, June 11, 2018, in Las Vegas. Laxalt is running as a Republican for governor of Nevada.

Republicans and Democrats in a crowded race to replace term-limited Gov. Brian Sandoval are reminding voters what’s at stake heading into Tuesday’s primary.

A get-out-the-vote event Monday night in support of Republican gubernatorial candidate and Attorney General Adam Laxalt drew a crowd of supporters as well as protesters, who have been present at several events for GOP candidates this election cycle. Laxalt told the Republican crowd inside the event that voters have a “stark choice” coming up, and, like several other GOP candidates, he spoke against sanctuary policies that allow local governments to decline to participate in federal immigration enforcement. A “sanctuary state” bill failed to gain traction in the 2017 Legislature, and an anti-sanctuary ballot measure has been held up in court.

Protesters outside the event at Laxalt's Las Vegas campaign office chanted “believe women,” and “investigate Antinoro, do your job,” a reference to Storey County Sheriff Gerald Antinoro, who has been accused of sexual misconduct and has also endorsed Laxalt. Laxalt on Monday reiterated the stance he gave KLAS Channel 8 on the endorsement, saying his office is looking into the matter and his campaign cannot comment on endorsements until that is complete.

State Treasurer Dan Schwartz, also an opponent of sanctuary policies, is one of Laxalt’s challengers for the party’s nomination. He said Monday that he’s raised about $600,000 in the race, and that he’s not taking any money from lobbyists. He said one of his goals is to end the “bought-and-paid-for political culture in Carson City.”

The Democratic primary front-runners in the governor’s race are eying Laxalt as the candidate to beat in the general election.

Clark County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani campaign manager Eric Hyers said whoever goes onto the general election from the Democratic primary, Democrats will be united to make sure Laxalt doesn’t get elected.

Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak said Monday that the goal is to beat Laxalt. He said he’s confident his campaign can raise the resources needed to compete against Laxalt should voters send him them both to the general election.

Speakers at Laxalt’s event included 3rd Congressional District candidate Danny Tarkanian, lieutenant governor candidate Michael Roberson, and Attorney General candidate Wes Duncan.

Tarkanian is in a crowded primary with former Las Vegas TV reporter Michelle Mortensen and state Sen. Scott Hammond, to name a few. Tarkanian entered the race after President Donald Trump urged him not to run against incumbent Sen. Dean Heller.

Roberson, who supported the commerce tax that Laxalt opposes, is one of five Republicans in that primary race. One of his opponents, longtime business owner Eugene Hoover, has said he opposed the commerce tax from the outset and spoke out against it when it was at the Legislature.

Duncan faces Republican Craig Mueller in his primary. Mueller, like Duncan, also opposes sanctuary policies. Mueller has also said he supports the will of the voters when it comes to recreational marijuana, an issue Duncan has declined to comment on.