Las Vegas Sun

June 26, 2019

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Live: Democrats win Nevada Senate, governor’s races


Steve Marcus

Democrats cheer election returns during a Nevada Democrats election night party at Caesars Palace Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018.

Updated Wednesday, Nov. 7, 2018 | 12:57 a.m.

Democratic Election Night Party at Caesars

Democrats cheer election returns during a Nevada Democrats election night party at Caesars Palace Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018. Launch slideshow »

Minutes after winning the Nevada Senate race against Republican incumbent Dean Heller, Democrat Jacky Rosen addressed her supporters at Caesars Palace with a powerful message.

She spoke about fighting for all Nevadans — everything from advocating for a $15 per hour minimum wage, affordable college, gun reform, protections for immigrants and protecting women’s reproductive rights.

More important, she said, she’ll be heading to Washington to take on President Donald Trump.

“The politics of fear and division — they have lost,” Rosen said to cheers.

Rosen will join fellow Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto in the Senate, making Nevada one of five states with two female senators.

Her victory was one of many for Nevada Democrats as they turned the state firmly blue. Democrats even won in Washoe County in Northern Nevada, where Steve Sisolak bested Republican Adam Laxalt for governor. Sisolak will be Nevada’s first Democratic governor in some 20 years.

“Growing up, my family didn’t have a lot,” Sisolak said in his victory speech. “But we had each other.”

Sisolak reiterated one of his campaign promises to improve Nevada’s public education system, which rates as one of the nation’s worst. Teachers often have to come out of pocket for supplies, which Sisolak repeatedly said was unacceptable.

“Educators, I have your back,” he said. “We are going to fix this.”

Other Democrats to win major races included Susie Lee over Republican Danny Tarkanian in the 3rd Congressional District, Steven Horsford over the GOP’s Cresent Hardy in the 4th Congressional District and Dina Titus comfortably retaining her seat in the 1st Congressional District.

Republicans were still alive early Wednesday in a few state races, most notably Barbara Cegavske for secretary of state, Bob Beers for state treasurer and Wes Duncan for attorney general.

12:17 a.m.

With roughly a 20 percent advantage late Tuesday, proponents of Question 5 — the automatic voter registration ballot question — were claiming victory.

“Automatic voter registration is one of the best things a state can do to improve election security, increase voter participation and reduce costs,” Abe Rakov, chairman of Let America Vote Board, said in a news release. “Congratulations to the people of Nevada for taking matters into their own hands by voting to make their elections fairer and more accessible for years to come.”

Nevadans registering for a driver’s license or state ID at the Department of Motor Vehicles will be automatically registered to vote unless the person declines in writing.

— Ricardo Torres-Cortez

12:14 a.m.

Nevada voters have approved a ballot measure to embed crime victims' rights in the state constitution.

Question 1 passed on Tuesday. It was described by backers as Marsy's Law for Nevada.

The name refers to a 2008 law enacted by voters in California with support from billionaire Henry Nicholas in memory of his slain sister, Marsalee "Marsy" Nicholas. She was killed by her ex-boyfriend in 1983.

The Nevada measure was approved by the state Legislature in 2015 and 2017. It expands the definition of a victim and lists 16 rights including privacy, protection from a defendant, refusal of interview or deposition requests without a court order, notice of court and parole hearings and "full and timely restitution."

Opponents called the proposal redundant, costly and vague.

— Associated Press

12:01 a.m.

Republican Dean Heller says he takes the blame for his loss to Democrat Jacky Rosen in Nevada's U.S. Senate race.

Heller said in a concession speech in Las Vegas that Rosen and the Democratic Party had a great race up and a "blue wave" all down the ballot in Nevada.

He says his party is going to have to "come back together" and decide how it's going to go forward.

The senator says it's the first time he's had to call his opponent and make a concession call in three decades.

He cited the 2017 GOP tax law he helped write and the confirmation of judges to the U.S. Supreme Court as "generational changes" he was proud of achieving while in office.

— Associated Press

11:59 p.m.

Republican Adam Laxalt has conceded Nevada governor's race to Democrat Steve Sisolak.

The Associated Press has not called race, which has drawn millions in outside spending and was considered a high-stakes battle for both parties.

The 64-year-old Sisolak repeatedly campaigned on a pledge to stand up to President Donald Trump, who backed Laxalt.

Sisolak chairs the Clark County Commission, which oversees the Las Vegas Strip and surrounding areas. He rose to prominence following the 2017 mass shooting on the Strip, starting an online fundraiser that amassed millions for victims.

Nevada's gubernatorial race was considered a top priority for Democrats looking to flip control of governors' mansions across the country Tuesday.

Popular and moderate Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval is term-limited.

— Associated Press

11:54 a.m.

Republican Sen. Dean Heller has conceded to Democratic Rep. Jacky Rosen in a battleground race for U.S. Senate in Nevada.

The Associated Press has not yet called the race.

Heller has been in office since he was appointed to fill a vacancy in 2011.

He was considered the most vulnerable Republican running for re-election to the U.S. Senate this year as the only one seeking another term in a state that Hillary Clinton won in 2016.

Heller was once a critic of President Donald Trump, but the two have become allies. Rosen painted Heller as a rubber stamp for the president and counted on backlash to Trump to help her oust the incumbent.

Rosen's win puts Nevada with half a dozen other states represented by U.S. senators who are both female. Nevada's other senator is Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto.

— Associated Press

11:49 p.m.

Nevada voters took development of clean energy into their own hands Tuesday, voting overwhelmingly in favor of adding requirements for renewables into the state Constitution.

Voters approved Ballot Question 6 calling for the state to begin generating 50 percent of its power from renewable sources by 2030.

Incomplete and unofficial results showed the question had drawn 472,869 yes votes to 313,625 no votes as of 11:35 p.m. — a margin large enough that proponents of the question issued a release proclaiming it had carried.

Under state law, the question will have to pass a second statewide vote to be added to the Constitution.

— Las Vegas Sun

11:45 p.m.

Nevada Republican Rep. Mark Amodei has won again in a mostly rural district that no Democrat has ever represented.

Democratic challenger Clinton Koble picked up several labor endorsements but was outspent in the campaign by a 9-to-1 margin.

The 60-year-old Amodei is a member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee.

It's the safest GOP seat in the western battleground state where two open seats are up for grabs.

Amodei has represented the district created in 1982 since he won a special election in 2011. Last time, he claimed 58 percent of the vote in the district that covers most of northern Nevada including Reno and Carson City.

A Carson City native, Amodei is the former chairman of the Nevada Republican Party who served in the Legislature for 13 years.

Koble is an Obama-era appointee to the U.S. Agriculture Department.

— Associated Press

11:31 p.m.

Democrat Steven Horsford has defeated Republican and fellow former Congressman Cresent Hardy in the battle for an open congressional seat that was considered key to Democrats' bid to take control of the U.S. House.

Horsford won Tuesday in the 4th District, which includes the outskirts of Las Vegas and several rural counties in southern Nevada.

The incumbent, Democratic Rep. Ruben Kihuen, decided to forgo a re-election bid amid allegations of sexual misconduct.

The 45-year-old Horsford became the first African-American to represent Nevada in Congress when he won the seat in 2012.

The 61-year-old Hardy defeated him in 2014 then lost in 2016 to Kihuen.

It was one of two open House seats up for grabs in the western battleground state. Democrat Hillary Clinton carried Nevada in her loss to President Donald Trump in the last election.

— Associated Press

11:25 p.m.

Democrat Susie Lee has defeated Republican Danny Tarkanian in a key battle for an open U.S. House seat in the western swing state of Nevada.

Democratic incumbent Jacky Rosen previously represented southern Nevada's 3rd District but left to challenge Republican Sen. Dean Heller.

Lee is a 51-year-old Las Vegas philanthropist who raises money for education and disadvantaged women. She raised $4.5 million and outspent Tarkanian by a 2-to-1 margin.

The 56-year-old Tarkanian is the son of legendary UNLV basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian. Danny Tarkanian lost to Rosen by fewer than 4,000 votes in 2016.

Tarkanian launched a bid earlier this year to knock off Heller in the GOP Senate primary but backed off under pressure from President Donald Trump and others.

Lee lost in the 2016 primary to Democratic Rep. Ruben Kihuen in the neighboring 4th District.

— Associated Press

11:23 p.m.

Nevada Democratic Rep. Dina Titus has won re-election to a fourth term, cruising to victory over Republican Joyce Bentley in the heavily Democratic 1st District covering most of Las Vegas.

The 68-year-old Titus is a longtime political science professor. She served a term in the neighboring 3rd District before first winning her current seat in 2012.

Bentley is a former Las Vegas businesswoman and real estate agent who didn't report raising any money for her general election campaign.

— Associated Press

11:18 p.m.

Nevada will have its first Democratic governor in some 20 years.

The election has been called in favor of Steve Sisolak over Republican Adam Laxalt to replace term-limited GOP Gov. Brian Sandoval.

Sisolak, a Clark County commissioner, had received more than 6,000 votes in Washoe County over Laxalt as of 11:40 p.m. — a significant victory because Laxalt is based in Northern Nevada

“This was all of our campaign, not just my campaign,” Laxalt said in his concession speech. “Not all good teams win, right?”

The last Democratic governor was Bob Miller in the 1990s.

11:12 p.m.

Jacky Rosen appears to be in line to beat incumbent Dean Heller in the race for the U.S. Senate in Nevada, according to projections from CNN and other outlets.

Heller was considered the most at-risk incumbent entering the election because he was the lone member of the Senate up for re-election in a state won by Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election.

Nevada now has two Democratic senators, with Rosen joining Catherine Cortez Masto.

It’s the second election Rosen — who was handpicked to run for office by retired Sen. Harry Reid — has won in two years. She defeated Danny Tarkanian in 2016 in Nevada’s 3rd congressional district.

— Las Vegas Sun

11:11 p.m.

Democrat Steven Horsford has defeated Republican and fellow former Congressman Cresent Hardy in the battle for an open congressional seat that was considered key to Democrats' bid to take control of the U.S. House.

Horsford won Tuesday in the 4th District, which includes the outskirts of Las Vegas and several rural counties in southern Nevada.

The incumbent, Democratic Rep. Ruben Kihuen, decided to forgo a re-election bid amid allegations of sexual misconduct.

The 45-year-old Horsford became the first African-American to represent Nevada in Congress when he won the seat in 2012.

The 61-year-old Hardy defeated him in 2014 then lost in 2016 to Kihuen.

It was one of two open House seats up for grabs in the western battleground state. Democrat Hillary Clinton carried Nevada in her loss to President Donald Trump in the last election.

— Associated Press

GOP Nevada Election Night Party at South Point

Sen. Dean Heller leaves the South Point stage with his family after conceding to Democrat Jacky Rosen, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018. Launch slideshow »

11:05 p.m.

Democrat Susie Lee has defeated Republican Danny Tarkanian in a key battle for an open U.S. House seat in the western swing state of Nevada.

Democratic incumbent Jacky Rosen previously represented southern Nevada's 3rd District but left to challenge Republican Sen. Dean Heller.

Lee is a 51-year-old Las Vegas philanthropist who raises money for education and disadvantaged women. She raised $4.5 million and outspent Tarkanian by a 2-to-1 margin.

The 56-year-old Tarkanian is the son of legendary UNLV basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian. Danny Tarkanian lost to Rosen by fewer than 4,000 votes in 2016.

Tarkanian launched a bid earlier this year to knock off Heller in the GOP Senate primary but backed off under pressure from President Donald Trump and others.

Lee lost in the 2016 primary to Democratic Rep. Ruben Kihuen in the neighboring 4th District.

— Associated Press

11:03 p.m.

Ballot Question 3, which would have directed the Nevada Legislature to create a competitive energy market in place of NV Energy’s monopoly by July 2023, was defeated.

“We know that competition in our energy markets drives prices down and provides more renewable energy choices,” said Dave Chase, the campaign manager for Yes on 3.

“But the fact is, NV Energy spent more money opposing Question 3 than anyone has ever spent in the history of Nevada politics. We are disappointed with the results of this election and will continue this fight until Nevadans have the right to choose affordable, clean energy.”

The measure would establish energy choice by requiring the state to dump its regulatory monopoly model in favor of a competitive retail electric system. The state would be required to make the switchover by 2023.

— Las Vegas Sun

11:05 p.m.

Nevada is well on its way to becoming a blue political state.

With five of 17 counties fully reporting midterm election results, Democratic candidates appear to be sweeping the major races — Jacky Rosen over Dean Heller for U.S. Senate, Steve Sisolak over Adam Laxalt for governor, and Susie Lee, Steven Horsford and Dina Titus comfortably ahead in races for Congress.

Republican Danny Tarkanian said he lost to Lee in 3rd Congressional District race. It's the sixth political campaign Tarkanian has lost.

Washoe County in Northern Nevada, which traditionally votes Republican, flipped its allegiance to the Democrats. In the Senate race, for instance, 53,359 cast ballots for Rosen in comparison to 43,744 for Heller as of 11:10 p.m.

Clark County, where results are still coming in, was expected to also be won by the Democrats. The Democrats' success is partially credited to their efforts mobilizing voters, especially young voters and Hispanics.

— Las Vegas Sun

11:05 p.m.

Democratic Rep. Dina Titus won her re-election bid in the heavily blue 1st Congressional District and said the state delivered for the party just like it did in 2016, when Nevada chose Hillary Clinton for president. She beat Republican challenger Joyce Bentley.

“America, look at us. We did it two years ago; we did it again tonight,” Titus said. “This victory tonight sends a strong message to Washington, it says to our president and his Republican friends, ‘We reject you.’”

— Yvonne Gonzalez

11:04 p.m.

With five of 17 counties fully reported, Democratic challenger Jacky Rosen was leading GOP incumbent Dean Heller 52 percent to 43 percent in the race for Senate in Nevada.

In the governor's race, Democrat Steve Sisolak was ahead of Republican Adam Laxalt 51 percent to 43 percent.

In the race for the 3rd Congressional District, Democrat Susie Lee was leading Republican Danny Tarkanian 51 percent to 43 percent.

— Las Vegas Sun

10:50 p.m.

Nevada GOP headquarters at the South Point has lost about half of its attendees, despite election results being incomplete. Many departing Republicans, including the beer-toting, flag-waving Gabriel Marks, have called it a night to make it to work on time tomorrow, they said.

Many of those still at the GOP watch party gathered around the venue’s big-screen TVs as Dean Heller and Adam Laxalt were announced the winners of eight Nevada counties, including Esmeralda, Nye, Lincoln and Churchill. Most cheered while others reminded them that less than 5 percent of the state’s results were being reported.

— Chris Kudialis

10:06 p.m.

A state election official says the last voter has cast a ballot and Election Day has ended in Nevada, nearly 3 hours after polls were scheduled to close.

Deputy Nevada Secretary of State Wayne Thorley says lines were longest in Washoe County, where voting ended at just before 10 p.m. Tuesday at an unspecified polling place.

Voting ended about 30 minutes earlier in Lyon and Clark counties, where people who arrived in line before 7 p.m. at polling places at malls and schools were allowed to remain in line to vote. Others were turned away.

Thorley says preliminary election results will begin being released soon.

— Associated Press

9:57 p.m.

Nevada Democratic Party Chairman William McCurdy II kicked off a program at the party’s election night event at Caesars Palace. Without any results posted yet, McCurdy said the hard work of activists in the room would help elect Democrats up and down the ballot.

U.S. Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto told the crowd that Democrats’ hard work has led to record turnout for the party this cycle, in a midterm when Republicans tend to have stronger numbers. She said the state’s Democratic Party has built on former U.S. Sen. Harry Reid’s legacy.

“Together, we rejected this president’s efforts to stoke fear and hatred against our neighbors and the people that we love,” she said. “We have sent a powerful message to Washington, D.C., about the country we want to live in and about who we are as Nevadans.”

— Yvonne Gonzalez

9:21 p.m.

Only Washoe County is left with voters in line, according to the Elections Division of the Nevada Secretary of State's Office. Once all voters in line in Washoe have cast a ballot, results will be released, officials said.

— Las Vegas Sun

9:15 p.m.

A Nevada state election official says voting is still going on in three counties, and statewide election results won't be released until after the last ballot is cast.

Deputy Nevada Secretary of State Wayne Thorley says voting was still going on at 9 p.m. Tuesday at polling places in Clark, Lyon and Washoe counties.

That includes the Las Vegas and Reno areas, home to 87 percent of the states' voters.

Thorley says no results will be released until the last vote is cast.

— Associated Press

9:12 p.m.

U.S. Sen. Dean Heller took to the podium with 12 family members and friends, rallying the crowd at a Republican election night party at the South Point.

Heller spent most of his 5-minute speech thanking those on hand for their support during his campaign. At the end, Heller said if re-elected, he’d continue to help grow the U.S. economy, support fair trade deals and support the U.S. military.

In the crowd, Gabriel Mark of Las Vegas stood in a tank top shirt with a beer in one hand and a large American flag in the other. Wearing a sign from his waist, held with masking tape from his shoulders, Mark said Republican principles include “Jesus, spouses, firearms and freedom.”

“You see all the businesses popping up around town and you see what America’s economy has become,” Mark said. “Why wouldn’t you want to continue that?”

— Chris Kudialis

8:50 p.m.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Dina Titus says she sees enthusiasm among people waiting in line to vote after closing time at several polling places in Las Vegas.

Titus said Thursday she brought a tray of cookies to people in line at the Boulevard Mall in her district in Las Vegas and visited with people waiting at Roy Martin Middle School.

She says ballot printers malfunctioned a couple of hours before polls closed at 7 p.m. at the school, but people in line told her they were determined to stay.

She described the situation to The Associated Press by telephone on her way to another delayed poll closure spot at Rancho High School.

Titus says the enthusiasm she's seeing by Democrats is an indictment of the president and the Republican agenda, from health care to immigration.

— Associated Press

8:45 p.m.

Jessica Colter, a Las Vegas resident since February 2014 after moving from Northern California, said she has three boys and was voting this election for education issues. She said in her interracial family, her husband urged her to cast her first ballot when former President Barack Obama was seeking re-election.

Click to enlarge photo

Rick Carrauthers, left, and Dave Tipton cheer a speech by Nevada Democratic Party Chairman William McCurdry II during a Nevada Democrats election night party at Caesars Palace Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018.

At a Democratic Party watch party at Caesars Palace with her son Maxwell, she said she wanted her young son to be familiar with candidates, elections and voting.

“He’s only 8,” Colter said of Maxwell. “We really need to focus on this generation. Since the Florida shooting and everything else, that whole generation’s voice is so much louder than what we’ve heard in a really long time. We need to keep cascading it down and let them understand that they really need to be out there and voting.”

— Yvonne Gonzalez

8:21 p.m.

Wearing a white Make America Great Again hat signed by President Donald Trump, 67-year-old Mark Emerson said he didn’t “love” the Republican candidates in tonight’s elections, but voted for them anyway to try to help the party maintain control in the House and Senate.

Emerson, like many of the 200 Republicans at an election night party at the South Point, cheered as Fox News announced Republicans would retain the Senate. He booed when the network announced Democrats would take back the House, and said he didn’t believe what he was seeing.

“There’s still a lot that can happen tonight,” Emerson said.

— Chris Kudialis

7:52 p.m.

Click to enlarge photo

Incumbent GOP Senator Dean Heller takes the stage at the South Point with his family, his grand daughter Ava in hand, to thank all the supporters as they eagerly wait for the Election Day results, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018.

Attorney General candidate Wes Duncan is one of the first state GOP politicians to enter the party’s election night headquarters at the South Point. Smiling and shaking hands as he walked through the growing crowd of more than 200 attendees, Duncan said tonight’s election could determine the future of “progress and growth” in Nevada.

If elected, Duncan said he’d focus on fighting state-appointed guardianship fraud and improving resources for mental health treatment, which is an issue he called “a big problem.”

“I’d like to see if we could use the office to take some of those cases from the DA’s office, so they can focus more on violent crime,” Duncan said. “That kind of stuff is frustrating.”

— Chris Kudilias

7:45 p.m.

After initially being denied a spot in the voting line at the Galleria at Sunset mall, Shelia Tillemans eventually became the last person in line.

Tillemans, 30, recently underwent two ankle procedures leaving her with limited range of motion.

Click to enlarge photo

Shelia Tillemans, in red hat, joins other last-minute voters at the Galleria at Sunset mall in Henderson on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018.

As she entered the mall, she was assured by a line monitor that she would be able to vote after going through the disabled line, but she was turned away because she didn’t have documentation showing she was disabled. And then the line was closed when the polls closed at 7 p.m.

After pleading her case for several minutes — with about a half dozen witnesses vouching for her story — a voting monitor allowed her to vote.

“This election is a big one,” she said.

— Mick Akers

6:14 p.m.

The doors have opened at Republican headquarters at the South Point, and about 50 election watch party attendees have filtered inside as polling results come in from other states.

The early topic of discussion surrounded close races in the Florida gubernatorial election, where Republican Rick DeSantis had a slim 2-point lead over Democratic challenger Andrew Gillum, and the Texas Senate election, where Democrat Beto O’Rourke had less than a 1-point advantage over Republican incumbent Ted Cruz.

Las Vegans at the Polls

Election monitor Clarice Russell is enthused about her job on Election Day in Downtown Summerlin on Nov. 6, 2018. Launch slideshow »

Yan Guo, a Las Vegas Republican who also attended the watch party here two years ago, said she believed Republicans would ultimately maintain control of the House and Senate as Americans are satisfied with President Donald Trump’s first two years in the White House and will “make their voice heard.”

“The economy has grown and is doing very well,” said Guo, who earlier this year founded the Las Vegas chapter of an Asian American-focused political advocacy group known as APAPA. “I think people recognize that and want to keep us on the right path.”

— Chris Kudialis

5:52 p.m.

Nevada Republicans are making their way to a familiar place for their 2018 election night gathering. An upstairs ballroom at the South Point, used two years ago to celebrate the victory of President Donald Trump, is lined with 14 big-screen TVs, a giant American flag and a podium where many of tonight’s GOP candidates will be speaking after results come in.

Republican Party Chairman Michael McDonald said the party is banking on a successful night thanks to candidates’ outreach in rural parts of the state. He brushed off concerns that Democratic gubernatorial candidate Steve Sisolak’s roots in Clark County could carry him past Republican Adam Laxalt.

“The rural areas are playing a more vital role in our elections,” McDonald said.

McDonald said Sen. Dean Heller, in one of the most hotly contested senate races nationwide, is “more energized than ever.” He is facing Democratic challenger Jacky Rosen.

— Chris Kudialis

Election Day 2018

New York Democratic Congressional candidate Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez speaks to supporters, Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2018 in Queens the Queens borough of New York, after defeating Republican challenger Anthony Pappas in the race for the 14th Congressional district of New York. (AP Photo/Stephen Groves) Launch slideshow »

5:45 p.m.

The casino-resort on the Las Vegas Strip where Nevada Democrats are gathering has experienced power issues.

Caesars Entertainment says power has been restored at Caesars Palace casino-resort after it experienced intermittent issues Tuesday.

The alarms temporarily flashed in the ballroom where Democratic candidates plan to speak election night.

Caesars says it is investigating the cause of the outage.

— Associated Press

4:55 p.m.

A Nevada election official calls polling place balloting "robust" following two weeks of early voting that saw more votes cast statewide than during the previous midterm election in 2014.

Deputy Nevada Secretary of State Wayne Thorley tallied about 190,000 voters statewide at about 3 p.m., after eight hours of voting with four more hours to go. That's more than 12 percent of the nearly 1.6 million active voters statewide.

That will be added to the 35.5 percent of Nevada voters — about 554,000 — who voted during two weeks of early voting.

In the 2014 midterms, 552,000 total votes were cast, or about 45.5 percent of eligible voters.

In and around Las Vegas, Clark County spokesman Dan Kulin characterizes voting as "steady and strong"

Officials say anyone still in line when polls close at 7 p.m. will be allowed to vote.

— Associated Press

A 62-year-old registered Democrat from Reno says he voted for Republican Sen. Dean Heller last time and is "no fan" of his Democratic challenger Jacky Rosen. But Dan Lavely says he refused to vote for any Republicans this time around, primarily because of President Donald Trump.

Lavely told The Associated Press that the biggest knock against Heller was his flip-flop on health care.

The service manager at a big-box corporate retailer in Sparks says he's doing about the same financially under Trump as he did under Barack Obama.

But Lavely says Trump hasn't done anything to make his life better.

He says the GOP tax bill was a "total joke” a one-time thing" that had no impact on him. He has mixed feelings about immigration, but he says he doesn't want to build a wall or send 2,000 troops to the Mexican border.

— Associated Press

4:15 p.m.

Though they’re too young to cast votes, Jose Canales’ sisters accompanied their older brother to Wasden Elementary School. Voting was smooth, he said, noting it took him about a minute to complete.

“I feel good,” he said, adding that he’s trying to help change the power structure in Washington to the Democratic Party.

Canales, 32, was voting for the second time in his life. “I hope it changes something,” he said.

The ballot questions were very “obvious” to him, but he took a little longer to decide on Question 3, the energy choice initiative.

Canales voted no, he said. “Hopefully I got it right.”

— Ricardo Torres-Cortez

Click to enlarge photo

Clark County voters cast their ballots at Wasden Elementary School, 2831 Palomino Lane, near Alta Drive and Rancho Drive, during midterm elections Nov. 6, 2018.

3:45 p.m.

Asked what issue he was most passionate about this election season, Leo Davenport simply answered, “just Dean Heller.”

Davenport said he didn’t like some of the candidates on the ballot, but “Dean Heller sucks. He sucked as an assemblyman, secretary of state, a congressman and a senator,” the longtime Las Vegan said.

Leo Davenport and his wife, Glenda Davenport, walked out of Wasden Elementary School not long after they arrived to cast their votes.

The Davenports, who have been married 47 years, jokingly bantered about the voting machines, and opened up about their political opinions.

“He reviews all that stuff all the time,” said Glenda about her husband. That’s because Leo, who was in the mortgage business, would travel to Carson City and Washington to advocate for his industry. They could “pass one law and you’ll be out of business,” he said.

About the politics-induced noise, Leo Davenport said, “It’s getting worse every year, and they’re getting less and less done.”

“It seems that way,” Glenda said. “Well, Trump is getting stuff done.”

“I don’t know how,” Leo said. For congress members to unite in bipartisanship, Leo theorizes, it won’t happen “until you get all those old guys out.”

Glenda was pleased with the midterm turnout. “I’m just happy that so many people voted — that’s all — I think it’s great.”

Being married for decades, does the couple align politically? “Most of the time,” Glenda said jokingly. “If I don’t agree, I just don’t say anything. It’s better not to have a fight.”

— Ricardo Torres-Cortez

3:15 p.m.

Carolyn, a long-time Southern Nevadan who did not want to publicly share her last name, walked out of Wasden Elementary School hoping that her votes would help further the president’s agenda.

“I’m out here to vote; to support Trump” she said. “(I’m) just trying to keep things rolling the way they are.”

Carolyn, who’s in the healthcare industry, said she’s a regular voter in midterm and presidential elections. This time around, she’s most attuned to immigration, jobs and crime, she said.

Foot traffic flowed smoothly at this central valley location, with not much of a line forming.

Carolyn’s tired of the incensed political rhetoric. “It’s horrible, I’m sick of it,” she said, admitting that Trump stirs some of it. Yet, she said, the president has exposed a lot of the “bad people” in Washington.

In her personal life, Carolyn said, she’s lost several friendships due to politics, which she said makes her feel both passion and anger.

“I don’t speak a whole lot about my political affiliations, just for that reason, I don’t understand how they really think that they’re doing something right on the democratic side.”

Asked about being given a magic wand to fix the country, she said the first order of business would be “peace.”

“It would be nice to see everybody just get along,” she said.

— Ricardo Torres-Cortez

1:40 p.m.

David Swaffar, 62, voted as an independent at the Boulevard mall in the mid-afternoon after a long wait. Swaffar usually votes early, but couldn’t make it to the polls until today.

The main issues that caught the attention of Swaffar, a cook at the Village Pub, were the ballot questions regarding energy in Nevada.

“I think they’ll both have long-term effects that go beyond who gets elected as governor,” he said. “I voted yes on six and no on three.”

Retiree Rosemarie Lee, 72, also voted as an independent mid-afternoon. Lee, a native of Germany, has voted in every election since she became a U.S. citizen.

“It’s my right and privilege as a citizen,” she said. “We need to get together here because the way things are now are just sad.”

— Camalot Todd

Click to enlarge photo

Vivian Dunbar voting

1:25 p.m.

Vivian Dunbar took the day off Tuesday from her nursing job to vote at the Galleria at Sunset mall.

Dunbar, 45, who moved to the valley a year-and-a-half ago from Massachusetts, identifies as a Democrat and voted blue across the board.

Although she leans left, Dunbar would rather both sides work together and end some of the long-standing rifts between political parties.

“We all have to be one people, we shouldn’t be divided,” Dunbar said. “We’re one nation and we should be one people.”

With the early voting turnout Dunbar figured taking the day of work was the right choice. After arriving to the mall and seeing the line stretching out the door, she thought she made the right choice. But the smoothness of the voting process made the process go quicker than she anticipated.

“It’s the last day to vote, so I was worried about the line, so I called out of work,” she said. “But the line moved fast and now I would of had plenty of time to go back to work. I’m happy I voted.”

— Mick Akers

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Alexandro Hernandez with his brother, Vincente.

1:05 p.m.

Henderson resident Alexandro Hernandez, 26, felt it was important to cast his ballot today after Question 3 caught his attention.

Noticing the abundance of ads regarding the Energy Choice Initiative, Hernandez, a banquet server, said he was inspired to do some research.

He learned of NV Energy’s monopoly on the state’s energy market said he believed there should be a more competitive system in place.

“I saw too many ads, so I wondered why they were pushing so hard,” Hernandez said. “For being a big city, I think our power situation should be better, but since they (NV Energy) has a monopoly, they don’t really have to change too much.”

So, Hernandez voted yes on Question 3.

Identifying himself as left leaning, Hernandez voted for Hillary Clinton in 2016, and isn’t a fan of how President Donald Trump is conducting himself since taking office. The way he’s divided the country was another motivating factor to get out and vote, with the possibility of the Democrats reclaiming the House.

Hernandez brought his 12-year-old-brother, Vincente, with him to vote at the Galleria at Sunset mall, hoping to influence his sibling at a young age.

“On the way over here I was telling about the importance of voting,” he said. “I told him it’s important that you’re involved.”

— Mick Akers

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Dimitri Rodis and Angelina Marcus

12:28 p.m.

Longtime partners Dimitri Rodis and Angelina Marcus voted together Tuesday in Downtown Summerlin.

“I wanted her to be my voting buddy,” says Rodis, 40, who owns a consulting firm.

The couple was all smiles as they exited the polls after voting for the Democratic ticket. They first tried to vote at Sahara West Library, but left because of long lines. There was no wait in Downtown Summerlin.

Marcus attributes the uptick in the normally sleepy midterm elections to a response to this season’s political climate.

“I think there’s a lot of stress and concern about the government currently,” she said. “The folks who would normally sit it out, I think it’s bringing them out, like, we’ve got to make a change.”

Rodis enlisted the help of his mother, who always early votes, to look up information on the nonpartisan offices. He took her opinion and did additional research until coming up with a conclusion.

“Last night I was going through my ballot and I asked her, ‘What do you think of the tax on feminine hygiene products?’ Certainly I’m a voter and allowed to vote accordingly, but is it really my issue?” Rodis said.

He was on the fence about Question 2 because he saw feminine hygiene products as a necessity on par with food, which isn’t taxed. But then both his partner and his mother argued that if those weren’t taxed, then what would be? With their input, he voted no.

“That’s the discussion that we had last night, where do you draw the line?”

— C. Moon Reed


One APIA Nevada, NextGen America and other community partners shuttled students across the Las Vegas Valley on their #BringHomeTheVote buses from noon to 6 p.m.

UNLV is one of the locations where students could hop on the bus and be shuttled to voting sites.

First-time voter Paul Cho, 22, rode the bus to vote at the Boulevard Mall. Cho, a Las Vegas native, was inspired to vote in this election because of the uncertainty surrounding the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

“I found out about policies that would affect my friends and family,” Cho said. “My friends have DACA.”

Cho, who studies music education at UNLV, voted Democrat because “it’s the party that aligns most with my ideals.”

He also encouraged other students to cast their votes.

“This is important because this is our future,” he said. “The older generations always vote, and we’re the most impacted by these policies, but we don’t vote and it’s time to change that.”

— Camalot Todd

11:55 a.m.

Las Vegas voter Karla Kwist says a threat to families posed by changes to the country's immigration policies was a motivator to vote this year.

She told The Associated Press that the fathers of each of her two children came to the U.S. as immigrants when they were in high school, and she understands their "conquests and troubles."

The 57-year old child custody mediator says the rhetoric in Washington around immigration is meant to "stir up people" but doesn't offer solutions.

She says immigrants are not asking for handouts and are coming to America for "an honest day's work" and "willing to start at the bottom like any high school kid flipping burgers."

She voted for Democratic U.S. Rep. Jacky Rosen in the Nevada race for U.S. Senate. Kwist says Rosen has the "tenacity" to lead and find needed solutions.

— Associated Press

11:45 a.m.

Independent voter Jerry Lamb cast his ballot for some Republicans this year but cast his ballot in the race for Nevada's 3rd Congressional District for Democrat Susie Lee.

The Henderson resident told The Associated Press he thinks Republican Danny Tarkanian is in the race "for the wrong reasons," and he doesn't know Lee as well but he thinks it's good to have more women in elected office.

The 72-year-old manager said he thinks women are "more reasonable" and he thinks they are better at working across party lines.

Lamb says he would also like to see Democrats take control of the House to provide a balance of power in Washington and some oversight of the Trump administration.

He says he doesn't want to see Democrats pursue an impeachment of the president but would like them to "put the brakes on some of the nonsense that we see."

— Associated Press

11:30 a.m.

Voters were lined up several hundred deep at the Boulevard mall, where volunteers said turnout had been heavy all morning.

With wait times being estimated at 45-60 minutes, poll workers were informing voters about alternative sites that were reporting shorter lines. The closest option: Robert E. Lake Elementary School, about a 5-minute drive to the northeast.

— Ric Anderson

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Larry Warkentin

11 a.m.

Retired UNLV safety officer Larry Warkentin, 72, spent the last two and a half months travelling around the country with his wife in their RV. They escaped the rain of the East Coast and returned to Las Vegas specifically to vote on Election Day.

Warkentin grew up in the San Joaquin Valley of California in a family of 12. He worked on farms as a kid. “We were pretty poor, but I went to school and they taught the constitution in junior high and we had to memorize it.” Those experiences led him to preferring a “strict constitutional interpretation [to] reinterpreting the law.” In line with those views, the registered Republican voted in Downtown Summerlin for Dean Heller (Republican for US Senate), Adam Laxalt (Republican for Governor) and Danny Tarkanian (Republican for Congress).

In addition to the big name candidates, Warkentin spent a lot of time researching the smaller positions.

“I didn’t just vote haphazardly on the judges,” he says. “I’m not saying I vote correctly all the time because it’s very difficult. It’s hard to know about judges because they can’t put out their viewpoints per say because they’re supposed to be neutral and follow the law. But I have found the justice system to be fair. I think the judges try to be fair.”

Warkentin sees himself as something of an independent and isn’t against voting for a Democrat if that’s the best — or only — candidate (Nevada allows voters to choose “none of these candidates” in state ballots). Overall, he takes a thoughtful approach to elections: “I went online and I researched and I tried to do the best I can,” Warkentin says. “It’s a difficult election this year.”

— C. Moon Reed

10:55 a.m.

Although the voting site at UNLV’s Lied Library was only open for early voting and was closed on Election Day, there’s still a convenient way for students to vote.

NextGen America is shuttling students to the nearby voting center at Boulevard mall, where students can cast their ballots. It's a free service.

A pickup point complete with a red carpet entrance is located between the Student Union and Greenspun Hall.

— Ric Anderson

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Kenneth Crear

10:30 a.m.

Entertainment manager Kenneth Crear never misses an Election Day. It certainly helps that Crear gets a little push to the polls from his family: His brother is Cedric Crear, the Las Vegas City Councilman for Ward 5.

But the pull to vote goes deeper than family ties: “You can’t be in the conversation if you don’t vote,” Kenneth Crear said after voting in Downtown Summerlin this morning. “I think a lot of people are upset that they didn’t vote (in 2016). What I’m feeling is that people want to have a say so. I think voting is going to make a difference.”

After living in Los Angeles for 16 years, the Las Vegas native moved back home three years ago. He is partner in an entertainment group that manages musical artists such as Toni Braxton.

Crear is a Democrat and he says that the majority of the candidates he voted for are also blue. However, the alumnus of Arizona State University was also a big fan of the late Republican Senator John McCain. “He wanted what was best for the country, not just his party.”

— C. Moon Reed

10:05 a.m.

Alyssa Herman says she voted for Nevada Sen. Dean Heller because he’s a Republican but he’s also a moderate.

Herman is an unaffiliated voter from Henderson who says her views align more closely with the GOP but she wants to see politicians who can be bipartisan.

The 22-year-old nanny and university student said she likes the idea of smaller government and the economy is a prime concern for her.

She says she also voted for Republican Danny Tarkanian in the race for Nevada’s 3rd Congressional District because she would prefer to see Republicans keep control of the House.

Herman says she hopes that if Republicans keep the House and Senate that they will be able to get things done.

Associated Press

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Election monitor Clarice Russell is enthused about her job on Election Day in Downtown Summerlin on Nov. 6, 2018.

9:30 a.m.

“Come on in! No line, no wait,” says election monitor Clarice Russell as she waves two American flags at the entrance to the Downtown Summerlin voting tent.

Wearing a big smile and an elaborate outfit composed of flags and red-white-and-blue colors, Russell, 67, brings a festive spirit to the steady trickle of voters who are rushing to do their civic duty before work.

“I love my county and I appreciate people coming out to vote. It makes my heart skip a beat,” says Russell who is retired but sometimes works as a Lyft driver. She voted on the first day of early voting, but can’t share her voting preferences due to her role as a monitor.

Russell has worked as an election monitor for five years, and she says that this election stands out in terms of voter participation: “It’s been a great turnout — the best.”

Russell says that almost 200 people had voted in the initial 45 minutes that the poll had been open today.

— C. Moon Reed

9 a.m.

UNLV students Sameen Jahangir and Lelaina Navarro voted early today at the Cambridge Recreation Center.

This is the first election that Jahangir, 18, was able to vote in. Born in Pakistan, she has lived in Las Vegas for 13 years, and expressed her disappointment that she couldn’t vote in the 2016 presidential election.

“I felt like I was contributing to something,” Jahangir said of her vote today.

This was the second time Navarro, 18, has voted. The native of California, who moved to Las Vegas to attend UNLV, was excited to vote in Nevada because it was a swing state.

“I felt like my vote mattered more here,” Navarro said.

She voted for Democrats Jacky Rosen for US Senate and Steve Sisolak for governor, and yes on ballot question 3 to because she thinks it’s time to focus on renewable energy.

— Camalot Todd

8:40 a.m.

On the way to the gym, registered Democrat Theresa Shupe stopped at the Downtown Summerlin voting tent to cast her vote for a straight Republican ticket.

The 28-year-old Shupe is a millennial voter who said she is tied more to policy than party. She has voted for both Obama and Trump.

Shupe says that she’ll probably vote for Trump in 2020, but it’s too soon to say. “I would [vote for Trump], unless his opponent honestly just had the better ideas.”

Click to enlarge photo

Theresa Shupe

She sees the Republicans, with their policies on issues such as taxes, as pointing the country in the right direction.

For the cocktail server/bartender with a bachelor’s degree in political science, it’s all about ideas:

“Whoever I think is best for the county (gets my vote),” she said “I feel like the country has so many issues, so whoever tries to fix the country is where I want to go.”

For local policy, the recent Philadelphia transplant followed the advice of politically minded friends who advised her to vote no on the ballot questions.

— C. Moon Reed

7:45 a.m.

Steve Sisolak, the Democratic gubernatorial candidate, voted this morning besides his daughters, Ashley, 30 and Carley, 27 at the Kenny Guinn Middle School.

As he waited in line, Sisolak talked to voters about their concerns and how he would address them if elected.

“There are a lot of issues at stake right now—education, health care, jobs and immigration,” he said. “When need people to have their voices heard so we know where they stand and we can move forward.”

Although there was record early voting turnout statewide, many registered voters still haven’t cast their ballot, he said.

“We figure a third of the vote is still out there,” Sisolak said. “I stopped by one of our canvas launches earlier this morning, they were already out, hitting doors at 6:30 this morning and we’re going to work right up until 7 p.m. to turn out every single voter.”

New U.S. citizen Francisco Morales, the Sisolak’s political director, will vote for the first time later day at Rancho High School. Sisolak plans to accompany him.

Sisolak is running against Republican state Attorney General Adam Laxalt, who voted with family members at a polling place at Bartley Ranch Regional Park in Reno, campaign aide Parker Briden told the Associated Press.

— Camalot Todd

Election Day arrives in Nevada after swell of early participation

Nevada is heading into Election Day with hundreds of thousands of residents already having cast ballots.

Registered voters can cast ballots at any of 172 vote centers today starting at 7 a.m. Voters can get in line at polling places until 7 p.m. to make selections for federal, state and local offices.

The swell in early-voting participation overshadowed the 2014 turnout, with more than 30 percent of all Clark County registered voters having cast ballots through Friday, the last day people could do so before Election Day. Statewide, more than 34 percent of all registered voters had cast ballots as of Monday.

Less than 20 percent of all registered voters in Clark County and Nevada cast ballots early during the last midterm, when the state soundly re-elected GOP Gov. Brian Sandoval. Nonpartisan, progressive and conservative groups have been working this election cycle to register more voters and increase midterm turnout, which is typically lower than presidential election years.

A polling place open for three days of early voting at UNLV’s campus saw turnout at nearly 2016 levels, according to progressive NextGen Nevada. The group was working to register and then turn out young voters with $2 million in funding from billionaire Democrat Tom Steyer.

Students can catch a ride to the polls all day with NextGen by going to the space between the Student Union and the Greenspun Building at UNLV, outside of the main building at CSN Cheyenne, or between the L and K building at the transit bus stop at CSN Charleston.

Meanwhile, ride-share companies are offering discounted rides to Las Vegas residents on Election Day to make it to a polling place.

Lyft users can enter the code “VOTENV” on their mobile app to receive up to $5 off their ride, while Uber users can input the code “VOTE2018” to receive up to $10 off a single ride to a voting location.

In the 2016 election, 3 percent of registered voters in the U.S. said they didn’t vote due to lack of transportation, according to the Pew Research Center.

“This year, we're giving you the tools so you don't ghost the polls,” Lyft said in a release.

Nevada’s election will pick a new governor for the first time in eight years, and voters may choose a Democrat for the first time in about 20 years. Republican Attorney General Adam Laxalt and Democratic Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak are the front-runners in the race.

Laxalt wants to eliminate the Commerce Tax, a bipartisan education funding mechanism, and add $500 million in education funding. Sisolak has criticized the plan, saying no money can be taken out of the public school system.

Sisolak and Laxalt also differ along party lines on support for public programs that help parents send kids to private schools, such as Education Savings Accounts. ESAs have gone unfunded in Nevada, and some Republican legislators unsuccessfully tried to get Sandoval to call a special session in 2017 if the program was left out of the budget passed by the Democrat-controlled Legislature.

In the Senate, voters will decide between incumbent GOP Sen. Dean Heller and Democratic Rep. Jacky Rosen. Heller has criticized Rosen for her short record in her freshman term in Congress and her donations from out of state.

Rosen has repeatedly called out Heller’s votes for and against Obamacare in light of pressure from the Trump administration and is 2017 statement that he would not vote for health care legislation that pulled the rug out from under hundreds of thousands of Nevada residents. Medicare expansion under Sandoval, the first Republican governor to take advantage of this aspect of the Affordable Care Act, extended health care to about 200,000 more residents.

In Congress, Democrat Steven Horsford is running against Republican Cresent Hardy to replace retiring Democratic Rep. Ruben Kihuen. Both Horsford and Hardy have held the seat before.

With Rosen running for Senate, Democrat Susie Lee and Republican Danny Tarkanian are running to take her seat in Congress. They too differ along party lines when it comes to school vouchers, among other issues.

The Legislature is currently blue and had one of the nation’s highest ratios of female to male members in the country in 2017, driven by female Democrats and Republican women alike. Democrats have been campaigning on the possibility that the Nevada Legislature could become the first in the country with a female majority.

Three Clark County Commission seats are up for election along with three Clark County School Board spots.

Republican Rep. Mark Amodei is facing Democrat Clint Koble in a heavily red district. Democratic Rep. Dina Titus is running to keep her seat in a blue district, facing several other candidates.

Find a full list of voting day centers at the Clark County Election Department website.

— Yvonne Gonzalez

The Associated Press contributed to this report.