Laxalt, Sisolak pick up party nods for gubernatorial race

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Steve Marcus

Supporter Avery Ford takes a selfie with Democratic gubernatorial candidate Steve Sisolak during an election watch party at the Aria convention center Tuesday, June 12, 2018.

Wed, Jun 13, 2018 (2 a.m.)

A Democrat fighting for gun background check enforcement and a Republican who wants to keep California’s sanctuary immigration policies out of Nevada are facing off in November to replace term-limited Gov. Brian Sandoval.

Democrat and County Commissioner Steve Sisolak said Tuesday night after primary results were finalized that he would work with the FBI to figure out how the state’s voter-approved gun background check law is enforced. Attorney General Adam Laxalt won the Republican gubernatorial primary, and his office issued an opinion that said the law could not be enforced without FBI cooperation.

“My philosophy is you find a way to get it done, not come up with a reason why you can’t do it,” Sisolak said Tuesday night.

Laxalt’s platform includes opposition to sanctuary policies that allow municipalities to decline to participate in federal immigration enforcement. He’s said these types of laws harm public safety, and drew shouts of “no” Monday night when he asked a crowd of his supporters in Las Vegas whether Republicans would let Nevada become a sanctuary state.

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Nevada state Attorney General Adam Laxalt speaks at a campaign event Monday, June 11, 2018, in Las Vegas. Laxalt is running as a Republican for governor of Nevada. (AP Photo/John Locher)

“Higher taxes, ridiculous regulations, sanctuary cities, you name it, my opponent supports it,” Laxalt said in a statement. “They would change Nevada forever.”

Republican National Committee spokeswoman Keelie Broom has said Sisolak would be strapped for cash heading into the general election in November. Laxalt is heading into the general election with more than $4.2 million cash on hand, according to his campaign.

Sisolak campaign manager Barb Solish said the Democrat has proven that he can raise money, with his campaign bringing in at least $3.5 million since 2017. Sisolak and fellow Clark County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani were in a tense primary, and Sisolak spent $6.3 million this year through June 7. His campaign could not immediately say how much cash it had on hand Tuesday night.

Laxalt is also running to repeal the commerce tax, a bipartisan piece of legislation passed under Sandoval. None of the candidates seeking to replace Sandoval has received his endorsement.

Voters have until Oct. 18 to register to vote online for the Nov. 6 election. Early voting starts Oct. 20.

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