Conservatives lead in Nevada constitutional office races

Michele Fiore, seen in February 2022. (Bizuayehu Tesfaye/Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Conservative candidates were leading in several of Nevada’s constitutional offices on Tuesday, according to early results posted in Clark County and by the Nevada secretary of state.

Results posted Tuesday were preliminary, with just 162,421 votes reported between Clark County and the state secretary of state websites. That represents just 11.2 percent of active registered Nevada voters. Clark County was reporting 10 percent of precincts at 11 p.m.

Secretary of state

Of the seven Republican candidates for secretary of state, all wanted to in some way limit access to voting in the interest of “election security.” For most, that means doing away with universal vote-by-mail, stopping ballot harvesting and implementing voter identification requirements.

Former Assemblyman Jim Marchant is projected to win the race with 29.6 percent of the vote as of 11 p.m. The Associated Press has called the race.

He is the most extreme of the field of candidates, wanting to completely eliminate early voting, voting by mail and mandate voting with paper ballots instead of electronic voting machines. He promised to launch an investigation into the results of the 2020 election in the state if he wins election in November. (Marchant lost a bid for the 4th Congressional District that year, a loss he attributed to voter fraud.)

“(The voting system) needs to be thrown out and totally redone from the bottom up,” Marchant told the Review-Journal last month.

“We haven’t, in Nevada, elected anybody since 2006. They have been installed by the deep state cabal,” Marchant told the “Flyover Conservatives” podcast in January.

He also spoke at the QAnon convention held at the Ahern Hotel last October.

State Senate appointee Jesse Haw trails Marchant with 19 percent of the vote. Haw doesn’t go as far as Marchant, but still supports requiring voter ID and stopping ballot harvesting, which Marchant also supports.

Former Las Vegas District Court Judge Richard Scotti holds third place with 16.5 percent of the vote.

Marchant will face Democratic nominee Cisco Aguilar, who was not opposed in the primary. Republican incumbent Barbara Cegavske is term-limited.

Treasurer

Two Republicans are challenging each other to face incumbent Democrat Zach Conine in the race for state treasurer.

Las Vegas Councilwoman Michele Fiore leads businessman Manny Kess, with Fiore holding 60 percent of the vote as of 11 p.m.

Fiore, a Trump-supporting firebrand, began the 2022 election cycle running for governor but later switched to run for treasurer instead. Both candidates touted their business acumen, but provided few specific policy goals. Fiore told the Review-Journal she wants to audit “every account” under the treasurer’s control, which includes the state’s college savings and numerous investments.

The treasurer race has been dominated by Fiore’s many scandals. She supported the Bundy standoff in Oregon in 2016 which led to 26 people charged with felony conspiracy and one person killed. While on the Las Vegas City Council, she was accused of getting into a fight with a fellow councilwoman and breaking her finger. Additionally, she made racist comments about affirmative action in 2020 which resulted in her resigning her post as mayor pro tem. She is also under investigation by the FBI for possible campaign finance violations and had her home raided by the agency last year.

Attorney general

Incumbent Attorney General Aaron Ford, a Democrat, will face off against one of two Republicans vying for his seat as the state’s top prosecutor.

Defense attorney Sigal Chattah leads business lawyer Tisha Black for the Republican nomination, with Chattah garnering 48.5 percent of the vote so far. Black holds 42 percent of the vote as of 11 p.m.

The attorney general campaign has been marked by repeated attacks from Chattah on Black’s character. Chattah, a combative lawyer most notable for lawsuits against the state regarding pandemic restrictions, refers to Black as a “Democrat plant,” citing Black’s donations to statewide Democrats in the past. Black has criticized Chattah for her representation of criminal defendants, and has called Ford “soft on crime” and vowed to support measures to strengthen U.S.-Mexico border security.

Black joined the race late, in February, and has weathered harsh attacks from Chattah. A real estate and cannabis lawyer, Black wants to “fight against government overreach” on small business regulations.

In February, a former ally of Chattah leaked texts where Chattah said Ford should be “hanging from an (expletive) crane” for what she saw as his poor job performance. She said the comment was tongue-in-cheek and not racist — Ford is Black — but came from her Israeli background.

Lieutenant governor

Both Democrats and Republicans face contested races for the state’s No. 2 executive.

On the Democratic side, incumbent Lt. Gov. Lisa Cano Burkhead leads Henderson Mayor Debra March and state Democratic Rural Caucus chair Kimi Cole, with 55.7 percent of the vote as of 11 p.m.

Gov. Steve Sisolak tapped Burkhead in December to replace Kate Marshall, who left Nevada to join the Biden administration. Burkhead was a teacher and principal in Clark County schools for 25 years before retiring in 2020.

Burkhead, a relative political novice despite being the incumbent, is on track to defeat the veteran March.

Republican Las Vegas Councilman Stavros Anthony leads his primary, holding 33 percent of the vote so far. Anthony lost out on a Clark County Commission seat by only 10 votes in 2020.

He leads retired Air Force Lt. Tony Grady, who has 22 percent of the vote, and political newcomer and investor John Miller with 15 percent. In a close fourth is former state Treasurer Dan Schwartz, who has 14 percent of the vote.

Controller

With current state controller Catherine Byrne, a Democrat, deciding not to seek reelection, longtime state Assemblywoman Ellen Spiegel will take up the Democratic nomination. Spiegel will face her Republican state Assembly colleague Andy Matthews in the general election to become the state’s chief fiscal officer and auditor.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.

Contact Nick Robertson at NRobertson@reviewjournal.com. Follow @NickRobertsonSU on Twitter.