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Indy Elections: 3 takeaways after candidate filing wraps

Plus: A brutal county commission ad and other #WeMatter updates
Tabitha Mueller
Tabitha Mueller
Gabby Birenbaum
Gabby Birenbaum
Indy Elections

Indy Elections is The Nevada Independent’s newsletter devoted to comprehensive and accessible coverage of the 2024 elections, from the race for the White House to the bid to take control of the Legislature.

In today’s edition: Snazzy graphics and all the need-to-know information about Nevada’s U.S. Senate, congressional and legislative elections now that candidate filing has ended. We also discuss a trio of recent campaign advertisements, details on an endorsement in the Republican U.S. Senate race and more!

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We want to hear from you! Send us your questions, comments, observations, jokes or what you think we should be covering or paying attention to. Email your newsletter editor Tabitha Mueller at [email protected].

Days until: 

  • Non-judicial candidate withdrawal deadline: 7
  • Regular primary Election Day: 84
  • Election Day: 231

3 takeaways from candidate filing

By Tabitha Mueller

Given that Nevada’s nearly two-week-long candidate filing period came to a close on the Ides of March, I thought about starting this newsletter by taking a stab at a joke about the historical significance of the day. [Editor’s Note: This GIF]

Friday was the last day of the state’s candidate filing period, marking the official start of campaign season as more than 950 candidates prepare for the June 11 primary election. Candidates have until March 26 to withdraw from races.

For a full list of candidates running in top-of-the-ticket races, check out the spreadsheet on our candidate filing live blog and this story with a more in-depth analysis. Here’s a look at some high-level highlights from the candidate filing period:

Federal races get crowded (save for Amodei)

At the close of filing, 21 people had filed for the seat now held by Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV), including 13 Republican candidates who will tangle in the June primary (only eight Republicans filed to run in the state’s 2022 Senate race). Rosen faces two little-known candidates in the state’s Democratic primary.

More than 30 people filed to run in the state’s four congressional races. 

Notably, no Democratic candidate filed to run in the state’s ruby-red Congressional District 2, a Northern Nevada district held by the state’s only Republican congressman, Rep. Mark Amodei. The only other time that happened in the last 40 years was in 1998, the year then-Rep. Jim Gibbons (R-NV) won re-election.

Surprise Friday filings

Here are some notable developments that came on the final day of filing:

  • Sharron Angle, a former Republican assemblywoman who became a national figure in 2010 during her unsuccessful race against the late Sen. Harry Reid (D-NV), is running for Reno’s open Senate District 15 seat. The seat is held by Sen. Heidi Seevers Gansert (R-Reno), who is not running for re-election. Angle will face two other GOP candidates in the state’s Republican primary for the district, which was redrawn in the most recent redistricting process to become much more favorable to Democrats.
  • Regent Laura Perkins withdrew her re-election bid and filed to run for Senate District 4 as a Democrat. The district is represented by Sen. Dina Neal (D-North Las Vegas), who filed to run for re-election March 4. 
  • Former Assemblyman Richard Carrillo (D-Las Vegas) filed to run for the District 4 seat on the Board of Regents, which is held by Donald Sylvantee McMichael Sr.
  • Businessman Ron Nelsen became a last-minute Democratic challenger for Assemblywoman Heidi Kasama’s (R-Las Vegas) Assembly District 2 seat. Nelsen (endorsed by the Assembly Democratic Caucus) and Kasama will advance to the general election without any primary opponents.

Party control of 10 legislative seats determined 

Across the 52 Senate and Assembly races, 42 seats have multiple candidates and opponents from different parties as Republicans attempt to stave off a veto-proof Democratic supermajority in both houses. Democrats already hold a 28-seat supermajority in the 42-member Assembly and are just one seat short of the 14 seats needed for a supermajority in the 21-member Senate.

However, in 10 legislative districts, party control of the seats is already determined.

Seven legislative incumbents (five Republicans and two Democrats) did not garner any challengers by the close of filing, all but guaranteeing their re-election and return to the 2025 legislative session. All come from districts where the incumbent's party has at least a 5 percentage-point advantage over the other major party, with advantages ranging between 5 and 37 percentage points. They are:

  • Assembly District 14, represented by Assemblywoman Erica Mosca (D-Las Vegas)
  • Assembly District 19, represented by Assemblyman Toby Yurek (R-Henderson)
  • Assembly District 22, represented by Assemblywoman Melissa Hardy (R-Henderson)
  • Assembly District 23, represented by Assemblywoman Danielle Gallant (R-Las Vegas)
  • Assembly District 28, represented by Assemblyman Reuben D’Silva (D-North Las Vegas)
  • Assembly District 33, represented by Assemblyman Bert Gurr (R-Elko)
  • Assembly District 38, represented by Assemblyman Gregory Koenig (R-Fallon)

Three of the legislative seats up for election this cycle (two Senate seats and one Assembly seat) only drew candidates from one party, meaning the primary winner has a free ride to Carson City in 2025.

  • Assembly District 7, where two Democrats are vying to represent the district vacated by former Assemblyman C.H. Miller (D-North Las Vegas), who is running for Las Vegas City Council. Assembly Democratic Caucus-endorsed candidate Tanya Flanagan is squaring off against fellow Democrat James Melvin Fennell.
  • Senate District 4, where incumbent Neal is facing Democratic challenger Perkins.
  • Senate District 19, where former Assemblyman John Ellison (R-Elko), Nye County School Board member Chelsy Fischer, and health care executive and military veteran William Hockstedler will compete in a three-way primary.  

What we’re reading and writing

D.C. Download: How Nevada's Democrats are navigating growing calls for Gaza ceasefire by Gabby Birenbaum

Culinary Union calls for a ceasefire, but is it out of step with its elected officials?

How will Democrats' tough 2024 Senate map affect Jacky Rosen? by Gabby Birenbaum

Democrats may spread their money too thin with more races to worry about.

Ahead of Biden’s Nevada visit, campaign previews 2024 strategy by Gabby Birenbaum and Carly Sauvageau

It's all about abortion and election deniers.

Indy Explains: Why there are two abortion ballot initiatives in Nevada by Eric Neugeboren and Tabitha Mueller

Why take any chances?

Culinary targets Democratic state senator for not supporting daily hotel room cleaning law by Howard Stutz and Tabitha Mueller

Looks like the Culinary Union follows Aerosmith’s advice: “Don’t get mad, get even.” 

Washoe County schools OK $500K to lawyer up against Trustee Jeff Church by Rocio Hernandez

School district lawyering up to fight lawsuits from its trustee is a new one.

Indy Ad Watch

Republican Accountability PAC — “Republican Voters Against Trump”

The Republican Accountability PAC launched a $50 million advertising campaign last week featuring people who had voted for former President Donald Trump in the past explaining why they will not vote for him in November. 

A press release announcing the campaign said it targets moderate Republican and Republican-leaning voters in six crucial swing states, including Nevada. 

Protect Our Care — “Mary (NV-03)” and “Doreen (NV-04)”

Protect Our Care, a progressive health care advocacy group, launched a $5 million advertising blitz March 11 to highlight the benefits of the Inflation Reduction Act and recognize members of Congress who supported it.

The campaign features patients and doctors who have benefited from the Inflation Reduction Act and will run in nine congressional districts during the next several months. In Nevada, TV and online advertisements recognize Rep. Steven Horsford (D-NV) and Rep. Susie Lee (D-NV).

Becker for Nevada — “Saudi Shannon”

April Becker's campaign hammered rival Clark County Commission candidate Assemblywoman Shannon Bilbray-Axelrod (D-Las Vegas) for “serving as a lobbyist for Saudi Arabia to stop the 9/11 victims bill” in a new attack campaign ad and website launched last week.

The ad references  Las Vegas Review-Journal reporting from 2017 revealing Bilbray-Axelrod's role as a registered foreign agent

Tabitha Mueller

The Lightning Round

🗳️Balaam for Brown — Washoe County Sheriff Darin Balaam endorsed Republican U.S. Senate candidate Sam Brown last week, saying that Brown stands with law enforcement officers and will be a “champion for law and order.” 

🗨️Maryland congressman to keynote Clark County Democratic Convention — Rep. Jamie Raskin (D-MD) highlighted how President Joe Biden’s policies, including his infrastructure investments, have benefited Nevadans at the Clark County Democratic Convention on Saturday. 

🌟Even independent presidential candidates recognize #WeMatter — Independent presidential candidate Cornel West held an “intimate” luncheon fundraiser Saturday in Las Vegas at the Panchos Vegan Restaurant & Cantina. West is a philosopher, scholar of African American studies and political activist. 

📱Taking to the text-waves — The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), the national organization that works to elect Democrats to the Senate, is launching a texting campaign against Republican front-runner Sam Brown. Recipients of the text will be directed to a DSCC website highlighting Brown’s past anti-abortion statements. 

Gabby Birenbaum and Tabitha Mueller

And to ease you into the week, a few “posts” to “X” that caught our eye: 

We’ll see you next week. 

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Editor’s note: This story appears in Indy Elections, The Nevada Independent’s newsletter dedicated to comprehensive coverage of the 2024 elections. Sign up for the newsletter here.


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