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The Nevada State Legislature building in Carson City as seen on Monday, Aug 14, 2017. (Jeff Scheid/The Nevada Independent)

A national Republican group focused on down-ballot races is making a last-minute push for candidates running for lieutenant governor, secretary of state and two Assembly seats.

The Republican State Leadership Committee has in the past week launched ads or microsites supporting lieutenant governor candidate Michael Roberson, Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske and Assembly candidates Jill Dickman and Stephen Silberkraus, both of whom are trying to reclaim their seats in the Assembly after losing close races in 2016.

The biggest spending comes in the state’s race for lieutenant governor, where the organization launched a six-figure digital ad campaign attacking Democratic candidate Kate Marshall for her alleged “horrific record of mismanagement” while she was state treasurer. It also launched an attack website called mismanagedmarshall.com that cites a 2010 Reno Gazette-Journal article citing a shortfall in the state’s budget account for college scholarships and for Marshall increasing her office’s budget by nearly $2 million.

In a response, Mashall’s campaign said the budget was higher because her predecessor, Brian Krockli, kept several of the office’s accounts off-the-books (which resulted in Krolocki’s indictment), and that she worked to fund the scholarship account after lawmakers took $5 million from the account in 2010 and 2011 to bridge shortfalls in the state budget.

“Contrary to the lies Michael Roberson and his friends are spreading, Kate Marshall saved the taxpayer(s) over $2 million dollars and saved the Millennium Scholarship,” her campaign manager Anna Scanlon said in an email. “If Michael Roberson understood how the state’s budget worked, he’d recognize that.”

The RSLC has also launched microsites supporting Cegavske (www.secretarycegavske2018.com) and similar education-themed sites supporting Dickman and Silberkraus. Both candidates are running in districts with nearly even or Republican-leaning electorates and against candidates they defeated in 2014 — Dickman against Democrat Skip Daly and Silberkraus against Democrat Lesley Cohen.

A spokesman for the group declined to say why it had decided to get involved in those specific races, though Dickman and Silberkraus represent some of the party’s best chances to pick up seats in the Assembly.

RSLC has reported raising more than $9.7 million throughout 2018, and spending more than $210,000 primarily on the efforts to recall two state senators earlier this year. On their most recent campaign finance report filed with the Nevada secretary of state, the organization reported transferring $5,000 each to Cegavske and Republican lieutenant governor hopeful Roberson, who was a member of the RSLC’s 2017 executive committee.

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