Vegas attorney, Republican Tisha Black to run for attorney general
Tisha Black, a longtime Las Vegas attorney, is announcing a bid for attorney general as a Republican, introducing a potentially formidable contender into a field that so far includes only Republican attorney Sigal Chattah and incumbent Democrat Aaron Ford.
Black’s entrance into the race is likely to shake up what was once considered a cakewalk to the nomination for Chattah, an Israeli-born Las Vegas attorney best known for leading lawsuits challenging COVID-related church closures, vaccine rollout priorities, the Legislature’s COVID restrictions and mask mandates for school districts.
In a statement announcing her candidacy, Black did not mention Chattah but said Ford had used his time in office “to pass soft on crime legislation.” She promised to oppose “unnecessary” mask mandates, illegal drugs and human trafficking at the border with Mexico, and to support rural and urban law enforcement.
“We need an Attorney General that stands up for Nevadan’s, not one that does the bidding of the Biden Administration,” she said in a statement.
Black recently served as president of the Nevada Cannabis Association (formerly the Nevada Dispensary Association), and has been active in the legal cannabis sphere since 2014, helping businesses apply for marijuana licenses and serving as a board member for cannabis companies. A spokesperson said Black stepped down as president of the association prior to announcing her run for office.
Her law practice focuses in part on cannabis regulatory compliance, and she is a founding member of the Nevada Bar’s cannabis law section.
Black’s general consultant will be Chris Carr, who has been the political director for the Republican National Committee, in addition to work on former President Donald Trump’s re-election campaign, at Wynn Resorts, as executive director of the Nevada Republican Party in the early 2000s and as co-founder of Engage Nevada, a nonprofit that registered tens of thousands of conservative voters ahead of the 2014 “red wave” in which Republicans swept Nevada statewide offices.
Black ran for a seat on the Clark County Commission in 2018, but lost by 8 points in the general election to Democrat Justin Jones.
Chattah — who has won support from Republican activists for her litigation against the Sisolak administration’s policies in response to COVID-19 — has posted significant fundraising totals. In her 2021 year-end campaign finance report, Chattah reported raising nearly $500,000 and spending $159,000 for the year, leaving her with about $335,000 in cash on hand.
In a statement on Monday, Chattah said she welcomes competition in the primary but called Black a "progressive plant" and noted her past donations to Democratic Party politicians.
"By funding Nevada’s most radical Democrats over the years, Tisha Black has not only helped defeat Republicans at the ballot box, she has literally built and advanced the Democrats’ disastrous government-controlled trifecta we live under in our state and our nation," she said in a statement.
Chattah vowed to file a lawsuit the minute she takes office against the halt of construction on the U.S.-Mexico border wall, and said she’s forming “an elite squad of attorneys general” to sue President Joe Biden state-by-state.
Ford notched one of the narrowest statewide victories in the 2018 cycle, beating Republican Wes Duncan by less than 5,000 votes out of nearly 1 million cast. He entered 2022 with $1.5 million campaign cash on hand.
Updated on 2/7/2022 at 10:07 a.m. to include updated information on Black's role with the Nevada Cannabis Association and a quote from Chattah on Black's entry in the race.