Las Vegas Sun

December 15, 2018

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Democrats 24 votes shy of supermajority in Nevada Senate

Updated Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018 | 6:52 p.m.

Democrats will have a supermajority in the Nevada state Assembly next year but have fallen 24 votes short in one legislative race that's keeping them from a supermajority in the state Senate, according to final results released Wednesday in Clark County.

The results, which the Clark County Commission officially approved, also showed Democrats with narrow wins in two Assembly races that had been too close for The Associated Press to call.

Statewide, Democrats collected 29 of 42 seats in the state Assembly and 13 of 21 seats in the state Senate. Wednesday's results show the race for the 20th Senate District was won by Republican Keith Pickard by 24 votes.

His Democratic challenger Julie Pazina has said she intends to seek a recount.

If a recount shows the race flipping for Pazina, it would give Democrats a two-thirds supermajority in both chambers. That would allow Democrats to pass a tax increase, override a veto or put an amendment to the state constitution before voters.

The results also showed Democrats eked out tight wins in two northwest Las Vegas Assembly races.

In the 4th Assembly District, Democrat Connie Munk defeated Republican Richard McArthur by 120 votes. In the 37th' District, Democrat Shea Backus defeated Republican Jim Marchant by 135 votes.

The wins by Backus and Munk bolster the number of women who will be serving in the Legislature, which could potentially become a female-majority governing branch by the time the 2019 session starts.

Women hold 22 of 42 seats in the Assembly — a majority — and eight of 21 seats in the Senate.

If at least two women are appointed to fill three expected vacancies in the Legislature, the state would become the first with a female-majority.

Officials in Clark, Lincoln and Nye counties are asking people to apply for a vacant Assembly seat that was won last week by Republican Dennis Hof. The brothel owner died in October but prevailed in the election. The county commissioners will meet next month to pick a replacement.

Clark County is also seeking applicants for two vacancies in the Senate to replace Tick Segerblom, who won a race for Clark County Commission, and Aaron Ford, who appears to be winning the race for Nevada attorney general.

The AP has not yet called the race.

Statewide official results will be released on Nov. 27.