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Reno developer, former state Sen. Jesse Haw to run for secretary of state

Riley Snyder
Riley Snyder
Election 2022
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Sign in front of the Nevada State Capitol building

Prominent Reno-based developer and former state senator Jesse Haw, a Republican, is planning to run for secretary of state in 2022, entering the crowded field as a formidable contender to replace termed-out Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske.

Haw plans to announce his candidacy next week, and is expected to bring at least half a million of dollars in campaign cash in the bank — more than any other Republican secretary of state candidate reported raising in 2021.

In a statement, Haw said that Republicans need a candidate who “can stand up and go toe to toe with the Democrat machine.”

“Nevadans need a Secretary of State that has the business background necessary to oversee our state's business division and also someone committed to fighting for voter ID, ending ballot harvesting, and modernizing our mail ballot system while ending universal vote by mail,” he said in a statement.

Former state Sen. Jesse Haw (Image provided by campaign)

Haw’s turn in the electoral spotlight came when he was appointed to fill the seat of former state Sen. Greg Brower in September 2016, ahead of a special legislative session to pass a hotel tax increase to build what would become Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. Haw voted in favor of the stadium bill.

In the private sector, Haw serves as president of Hawco Properties, a Reno-based homebuilder best known for developing the Spanish Springs development. He is also a former president of the Nevada Home Builders Association.

Haw is set to face off against a handful of Republican primary opponents, including former state Assemblyman Jim Marchant — who reported raising $136,000 through 2021 in his bid for the seat. He is leading a coalition of so-called “America First” secretary of state candidates with the stated goal of trying “to fix 2020 like President Trump said.”

Other Republican secretary of state candidates include former District Court Judge Richard Scotti, Sparks City Councilman Kristopher Dahir and former TV reporter and anchor Gerard Ramalho. Scotti reported raising $120,000 in 2021, while Dahir raised $93,000 and Ramalho brought in $40,500.

Democratic candidates for the office include former Athletic Commission member and attorney Cisco Aguilar and former Assemblywoman Ellen Spiegel. Aguilar led the field in fundraising among 2022 secretary of state candidates, raising $485,000.

The secretary of state’s office is best known for its role in running and supervising elections, but it is also charged with registering and keeping documentation on business organizations, appointing and training notaries public, regulating the state’s securities industry and a host of other tasks mandated by state law.

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