Dennis Hof has slim lead in legislative race


Wade Vandervort

Congressional candidate Danny Tarkanian stands alongside his wife Amy Hanson Tarkanian while he speaks to his supporters during his primary election night party, Tuesday, June 12, 2018.

Published Tue, Jun 12, 2018 (2:05 p.m.)

Updated Tue, Jun 12, 2018 (11:32 p.m.)

The Latest on Nevada's primary election.

11:30 p.m.

The owner of half a dozen legal brothels in Nevada has a slim lead with about two-thirds of the votes counted in a Republican race for a legislative seat.

Brothel owner Dennis Hof, incumbent Assembly member James Oscarson and a third candidate are vying for a southern Nevada Assembly seat.

Hof starred in the HBO adult reality series "Cathouse." His legal brothels are threatened under proposals to ban such businesses in two of the state's seven counties where they are legally operating.

Hof has said the effort is a political attack.

Oscarson, a hospital executive, and Hof previously faced off in 2016 when Hof ran for the seat as a Libertarian. Oscarson won with 60 percent of the vote.

The winner will face Democrat Lesia Romanov in November.

9:40 p.m.

Voters picked two candidates for a November runoff to replace one retiring Nevada Supreme Court justice.

Clark County District Judge Elissa Cadish and State Court of Appeals Judge Jerry Tao were the top vote-getters Tuesday among five candidates seeking to succeed retiring Justice Michael Cherry.

They topped Carson City attorney John Rutledge, Lyon County District Judge Leon Aberasturi and Las Vegas lawyer Alan Lefebvre.

The November ballot also will offer a choice between current Justice Lidia Stiglich and Clark County Family Court Judge Mathew Harter. They did not face a primary because they were the only two candidates to seek the seat.

Nevada Court of Appeals Judge Abbi Silver will replace retiring Justice Michael Douglas on the seven-member state high court in January, after she drew no primary challenger.

9:15 p.m.

Danny Tarkanian was greeted by a jovial crowd of about 50 supporters chanting his name after winning the Republican nod for the Congressional District 3 race.

Addressing the crowd, often hearing cheers for his ideas and boos for his Democratic counterpart, Susie Lee, Tarkanian marked the race, them versus us.

“The Democrats have said if the take control of Congress that they’re going to file impeachment charges against President Trump,” Tarkanian said. “We can make the difference in that. We can also make the difference in whether or not we’re going to control the senate and whether we’re going to have a Republican in the Governor’s office and put an end to all those nasty bills Democrats want.”

Tarkanian lamented he will focus on Lee’s support of open borders, sanctuary cities and that Lee would move to impeach Trump if elected.

“She’s (Lee) against everything President Trump stands against,” he said. “She believes in everything that we’re trying to change in this country right now. We are going to talk about those issues, and if the people listen and understand; we win.”

9:05 p.m.

A former Republican state senator and Las Vegas City Council member will face a Democratic businessman in November for Nevada state treasurer.

Bob Beers defeated Henderson certified financial planner Derek Uehara in primary voting Tuesday.

Beers will face Las Vegas businessman Zach Conine in the race to replace outgoing GOP Treasurer Dan Schwartz, who lost a primary bid for governor.

Conine was an executive at the Golden Nugget in Las Vegas and an investment analyst before co-founding the business consulting firm Joseph Beare & Co.

Beers cites a background as a certified public accountant. He served in the state Senate from 1999 to 2008, lost primary bid for governor in 2006 and was elected to the city council in 2012. He lost a re-election bid in 2017.

8:55 p.m.

Nevada Republican Cresent Hardy has won the GOP primary for the 4th District congressional seat he held in Southern Nevada for one term before Democratic Rep. Ruben Kihuen defeated him two years ago.

Kihuen announced earlier this year he would not seek re-election to a second term amid allegations of sexual misconduct.

Hardy, a former state legislator, unseated then-Democratic Rep. Steven Horsford in the 2014 general election.

Horsford won the nomination in the Democratic primary Tuesday night, setting up a rematch in November in the swing district that stretches from north of Las Vegas through four rural counties.

Hardy defeated five other lesser-known challengers in the GOP primary.

Horsford, the first African-American elected to Congress in Nevada, faced five other opponents in the Democratic primary, including state Sen. Patricia Spearman.

8:45 p.m.

A Republican former assistant state attorney general will vie against the Democratic state Senate leader for the top state law enforcement position in Nevada in November.

Wes Duncan advanced in the GOP primary for state attorney general with a Tuesday win over Las Vegas lawyer Craig Mueller.

Aaron Ford topped Democratic challenger Stuart J. Mackie, a northern Nevada farm owner.

Duncan was a top aide to Attorney General Adam Laxalt, who is running for governor, and became a partner in the Nevada law firm Hutchison and Steffen with former GOP Lt. Gov. Mark Steffen.

Duncan resigned from the Assembly in 2014 to join Laxalt's office. He has Laxalt's backing.

Ford is an attorney from Las Vegas who was elected to the state Senate in 2012 and 2016.

He has backing from the state's Democratic congressional delegation.

8:40 p.m.

Nevada's top election official has won her party primary over a little-known challenger and will face a Democratic contender in November.

Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske (seg-AHV'-skee) on Tuesday easily won the Republican primary over Ernest C. Aldridge.

Cegavske is seeking a second term as secretary of state after serving 12 years in the state Senate and six years in the state Assembly.

She is a former convenience store franchise operator from Las Vegas.

Her Democratic challenger will be Nelson Araujo, a state assemblyman since 2014 who served as assistant party leader last year.

Araujo once worked for Democratic U.S. Sen. Harry Reid. He did not draw a primary challenger in his party.

8:38 p.m.

A former two-term state treasurer will face a former state Senate minority leader for Nevada lieutenant governor in November.

Kate Marshall easily topped unknown challenger Laurie L. Hansen in Democratic party primary voting on Tuesday.

Former Republican legislative leader Michael Roberson advanced in his party primary over four other candidates: Brent Jones, Eugene Hoover, Scott Anthony LaFata and Gary Anthony Meyers.

The winner in November will replace Mark Hutchison, an attorney who was elected in 2014 and decided last year not to seek re-election in 2018.

Roberson aligns himself with conservative Republican causes and led the Republican Caucus in the Nevada Senate for three sessions.

Marshall, who lost two elections since 2011, was endorsed by nearly every major state Democrat.

8:35 p.m.

From the time she first voted at age 18, Rosemary Flores was a Democrat. That's until a few months ago, the 53-year-old said.

"I voted and decided to switch parties on behalf of my principles and values," said Flores, who on Tuesday night donned a hat with a bedazzled GOP elephant, and took selfies at the southwest valley office space. "Lots of Hispanics don't know and realize that they're conservative," she said.

Those values, which she said were instilled on her as a church-going Christian, involve social issues such as gay marriage and abortion, which she said she opposes.

In other issues, however, she's more of a progressive. She wants to see a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants who've lived in the U.S. The so-called Dreamers, she said, can one day be "our future doctors, lawyers, judges, you name it," she said.

For almost 20 years, Flores has been involved in the political system as an immigration activist, she said, noting she recently was hired as an RNC operative. "We should all be equal and work together and respect one another and bring peace and love and harmony between all human beings."

She said she wants to be an ambassador for peace, which she wants to see between the Democratic and Republican parties, and President Donald Trump. She wants them to work together.

8:30 p.m.

U.S. Rep. Mark Amodei has defeated conservative activist Sharron Angle and won the Republican Party's nomination as he seeks re-election to Nevada's 2nd Congressional District.

Amodei defeated Angle Tuesday in the race for the district covering Nevada's northern half.

Amodei is expected to win re-election in November to the Republican-heavy district.

He was first elected in 2011 to replace Dean Heller, who had been appointed to the U.S. Senate.

Angle is a former legislator who gained national attention in 2010 when she unsuccessfully challenged ex-Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. She also lost a 2016 bid to become the GOP's nominee to replace Reid.

8:25 p.m.

A couple of Democrats have locked up nominations for congressional seats in Nevada.

U.S. Rep. Dina Titus defeated challenger Reuben D'Silva on Tuesday in her bid for re-election in the 1st Congressional District.

Susie Lee cruised to an easy primary victory in a key congressional race in Nevada, setting up a battle in November for the seat left open when U.S. Rep. Jacky Rosen decided to run for Senate.

Lee captured the nomination against largely unknown rivals in the 3rd District covering much of suburban Las Vegas.

8:20 p.m.

Republican state Attorney General Adam Laxalt has defeated more than half a dozen opponents to become the GOP nominee for Nevada governor.

The 39-year-old faced state Treasurer Dan Schwartz and six other lesser-known candidates in Tuesday's election.

Laxalt is a former lieutenant in the U.S. Navy who has served as the state's chief prosecutor since 2015. He's the grandson of former U.S. Sen. and Nevada Gov. Paul Laxalt and son of former U.S. Sen. Pete Domenici of New Mexico.

He supported Donald Trump for president in 2016.

He's backed in his bid for governor by billionaire casino owner Sheldon Adelson and Americans for Prosperity, a conservative advocacy group funded by the wealthy Koch brothers.

Moderate Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval is leaving the office because he is term-limited.

8:10 p.m.

When Democrat Steven Horsford was declared the winner in a competitive primary for the 4th Congressional District, his camp celebrated by eating tacos and dancing to The Jackson Five.

Horsford has a commanding 63.9 percent of the votes with 157 of 482 precincts reporting, according to the New York Times.

Just seven months ago, Rep. Ruben Kihuen, D-Nev., was expected to secure the district smoothly for a second term.

But after Buzzfeed published accusations of misconduct against Kihuen by a former member of his campaign, he decided he wouldn’t seek re-election, freeing up space for a competitive race between Democrats Steven Horsford, Pat Spearman, Allison Stephens, Amy Vilela, John Anzalone and Sid Zeller.

Horsford was the district’s congressman for two years before losing to Cresent Hardy in the 2014 general election. He’ll likely face off against Hardy against this November.

“Tonight we’re going to celebrate this win and tomorrow we’re taking the same energy to the general race,” said Hillerie Patton of the Horsford campaign.

8:05 p.m.

Supporters at Steve Sisolak’s election night watch party at Aria on the Strip cheered when the first results were announced and their candidate comfortably ahead of Chris Giunchigliani.

Sisolak has 33,670 of the 60,315 votes that have been recorded in 663 of Nevada’s 1,989 precincts, according to the New York Times. Giunchigliani has 20,379.

The Clark County Education Association endorsed Sisolak, while the Nevada State Education Association put their support behind Giunchigliani. CCEA Executive Director John Vellardita said the group has supported Sisolak with three television ads and get-out-the-vote efforts.

Vellardita said Sisolak would be better able to capture independent votes as well as votes from Republicans who do not support Adam Laxalt, who has been declared the winner by the New York Times in the Republican primary. Vellardita listed pragmatism as well as Sisolak’s pledge to donate his salary until Nevada’s education system is on track as reasons the group supported him over Giunchigliani.

He said the group plans to run a multimillion-dollar campaign in support of Sisolak in the general election, with digital engagement targeting specific voters as well as traditional field operations to turn out voters via phones and canvassing.

“We’re not conceding that Laxalt has every Republican and we’re not conceding that Laxalt has every independent voter that’s out there,” Vellardita said.

Sisolak supporter Otis Wells, a Christian broadcaster on 1060 AM and community volunteer who grew up in Las Vegas, said he first met Sisolak three weeks ago while he was phone banking in support of the candidate. He said he supports Sisolak because of what he’s heard in the community about him and his commitment to improving education.

“I’ve always watched Steve as being a champion in the community,” Wells said. “He’s Vegas strong, he’s about bringing diversity to Las Vegas and he’s about the families and family values.”

8 p.m.

At a small southwest valley office space, Nevada GOP phone bank volunteers were joined by other Republicans for a watch party, where election results were being projected on a wall.

The office is decorated with Dean Heller and Donald Trump posters. In one, the president is dressed Peter Parker-like, ripping his suit top to reveal an American-design "T" with 2016.

Several dozen attendees packed the office to watch election returns. And they were joined by Wes Duncan, who is vying to become the next state attorney general. The candidate walked around the narrow space shaking hands and introducing himself.

About 8 p.m., when the Associated Press had deemed Adam Laxalt and Dean Heller as winners in their respective races, attendees quieted and then clapped in a uniform cheer.

7:40 pm

The Nevada GOP headquarters in the central valley was filled to its capacity of about 50 people, with politicians, families and political staffers awaiting results of tonight’s primaries.

Among politicians in attendance, attorney general candidate Wes Duncan shook hands with supporters, including Yani Guo, who has been in the GOP office since 2 p.m. making phone calls to encourage Republicans to vote.

“This is our opportunity to make a difference in our community,” Guo said. “We’re proud to be free, and we can show that by going out and voting.”

7 p.m.

Results are upcoming in dozens of legislative and primary races in Nevada now that polls have closed.

The most closely watched race Tuesday is the gubernatorial primary race in which Clark County Commission colleagues Steve Sisolak and Chris Giunchigliani are vying to be the state's first Democratic governor in two decades.

Nevada Deputy Secretary of State for Elections Wayne Thorley has said voters were turning out in higher rates than past primary elections because of the close primary race to succeed outgoing Gov. Brian Sandoval in November.

Republican U.S. Sen. Dean Heller is expected to breeze through the primary race after President Donald Trump earlier persuaded his strongest GOP opponent to drop out.

5:25 p.m.

Nevada election officials say Clark County experienced some of the same problems Washoe County voters reported with the names of some candidates failing to be displayed properly on voting machines at a limited number of polling places.

Washoe County Registrar of Voters Deanna Spikula said the "voter display" problems affected fewer than 10 voters Tuesday in the Reno-Sparks area who couldn't initially see a complete list of candidates on the ballot for certain races.

Secretary of State spokeswoman Jennifer Russell says she doesn't know how many voters in the Las Vegas area were affected but it appeared to be an "isolated' incident.

Russell says state officials investigated each report immediately and in each case, the machine was either taken out of service or reset.

She says in each instance, the voter was then able to successfully cast a ballot.

4:40 p.m.

Some Washoe County voters are complaining that the names of some candidates didn't initially show up on their ballots at the polls in Nevada's primary election.

County Registrar of Voters Deanna Spikula confirmed Tuesday there were a "handful" of "voter display" problems reported where voters didn't see a complete list of candidates on the ballot for certain races. She estimated it affected fewer 10 voters and says the problem has been resolved.

Spikula says the problem was not limited to any particular political party. She says in some cases, the size of the text was too large for all the names to appear on the screen.

Spikula says that once an individual incident was identified, poll workers were able to rectify the issue and the voter was able to cast a complete ballot.

4:30 p.m.

Voters are turning out in higher rates than past primary elections in Nevada thanks to a close primary race for governor.

Nevada Deputy Secretary of State for Elections Wayne Thorley said about 18.6 percent of active voters had participated by early afternoon Tuesday.

That's already higher than turnout in the 2016 primary.

Thorley estimated that turnout by the time polls close at 7 p.m. will top 20 percent.

Primary turnout has typically hovered around 19 percent except in 2010, when turnout was about 30 percent.

That year longtime Democratic Sen. Harry Reid was running for re-election and a crowded field of Republicans signed up to try to challenge him.

2 p.m.

President Donald Trump is endorsing Republican Adam Laxalt's run for governor as voters cast ballots in the state's primary.

Trump tweeted Tuesday that the Nevada Attorney General is a hard worker who would work to lower taxes and be tough on crime as governor. Laxalt is the favorite to win the GOP nod and his campaign says they're honored to have the president's support.

The race is closer on the Democratic side, where Clark County Commissioners Steve Sisolak and Christina Giunchigliani are vying for the nod.

Nevada hasn't had a Democratic governor in 20 years, but Democrat Hillary Clinton carried the state in the 2016 presidential election.

12:50 p.m.

Wes Elliott is among the Nevada Republicans rallying around primary election candidates they hope will further President Donald Trump's agenda.

The 70-year-old Reno-Sparks real estate agent says Trump's election in 2016 was "exactly what the doctor ordered."

He says Trump's honesty is a breath of fresh air. He says the president isn't worried about being politically correct, something he says has torn the country apart.

Elliott voted for Attorney General Adam Laxalt in Nevada's Republican gubernatorial primary. He says he likes Laxalt's character and the fact he's a military veteran.

A registered Republican for 30 years, Elliott says the biggest issue for him in politics is government corruption.


12:30 p.m.

Two candidates in a close Democratic primary for Nevada governor have cast their ballots.

Christina Giunchigliani voted Tuesday morning at Knudson Middle School in Las Vegas, while Steve Sisolak voted along with his two daughters at Kenny Guinn Middle School.

Both candidates serve on the Clark County Commission and are competing to be the Democratic nominee for governor in Nevada, which hasn't had a Democratic governor in two decades. They have each pledged to stand up to President Donald Trump and the National Rifle Association.

The winner is expected to go up against Republican state Attorney General Adam Laxalt.


11:30 a.m.

Elections officials in Nevada say they've fixed early problems with voting machines at two polling places in Reno.

The Reno Gazette Journal reports that a technical error caused problems for up to half of people who voted in the first two hours polls were open Tuesday morning.

Voter Greg Rabina tells the newspaper he had to try three cards and several machines before his vote went through.

Washoe County Registrar of Voters Deanna Spikula says the machines malfunctioned because the time programmed on voting cards didn't match the time on voting tablets.

One polling location manager, Scott Kabrin, says it's the first time using new voting machines and they expect to have the kinks worked out before the general election in November.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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