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Dozens of Nevada candidates file; 2022 election takes shape

Election Nevada
AP Photo/John Locher, File
FILE - In this Nov. 3, 2020, file photo, people wait in line to vote at a polling place on Election Day in Las Vegas.

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Nevada’s election choices began to take shape Friday, with some last-day surprises on the state level but all the Silver State’s eligible congressional incumbents filing for new terms.

U.S. Rep. Dina Titus, a Democrat, drew a last-day possible Republican challenger in former Congressman Cresent Hardy, who represented a different congressional district from 2015 to 2017.

For governor, Steve Sisolak, a first-term incumbent Democrat, and Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo, a Republican, head a crowded field of 22 candidates that also includes GOP former U.S. Sen. Dean Heller, according the final list of primary candidates provided by Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske.

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Cegavske, a Republican, is term-limited and won’t be on the ballot in June or November.

Ten candidates filed to replace her as the top election official in battleground Nevada, where backers of former Republican President Donald Trump continue to claim widespread voter fraud in the 2020 election despite losing court battles to upend the result. Democratic President Joe Biden won Nevada by 33,596 votes, or nearly 2.4%.

Seven Republicans seek to replace Cegavske, including former state Assemblyman Jim Marchant, a vocal Trump supporter and election fraud conspiracy theorist, former Las Vegas television news anchor Gerard Ramalho, and Richard Scotti, a former state court judge.

The winner of the GOP primary will face Democrat Cisco Aguilar, who did not draw a primary opponent. He is a former staffer to the late U.S. Sen. Harry Reid and state Athletic Commission appointee.

Among several last-day developments, Danny Tarkanian, a frequent unsuccessful candidate for state and congressional offices, filed for the Republican nomination to challenge incumbent GOP U.S. Rep. Mark Amodei in congressional District 2, covering northern Nevada.

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Amodei filed last week to seek a sixth full two-year term. In all, 13 hopefuls filed for his seat, including three other Republicans, six Democrats and an American Independent Party candidate.

Tarkanian, the son of the late iconic UNLV basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian and former Las Vegas City Councilwoman Lois Tarkanian, won a county commission seat in Douglas County in 2020. He made previous unsuccessful bids for the U.S. House in 2018 against Rep. Susie Lee and in 2016 against then-Rep. Jacky Rosen, both in District 3, and in 2012 against Rep. Steven Horsford in District 4.

Rosen, a Democrat, was elected to a six-year U.S. Senate term in 2018 and is not on the 2022 ballot.

Lee faces a little-known Democratic primary challenger and five possible Republicans in her bid for a third term in Las Vegas-area congressional District 3.

Nevada’s senior U.S. senator, Catherine Cortez Masto, faces three Democratic primary challengers ahead of what is expected be a tough reelection campaign with implications for the balance of political power in the evenly split Senate.

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Adam Laxalt, a Republican former state attorney general who has been endorsed by Trump, is seen as the GOP front-runner. He faces seven other primary challengers, including a well-funded campaign by retired U.S. Army Capt. Sam Brown of Reno.

Horsford did not draw a Democratic primary challenge in congressional District 4. He could face first-term state Assemblywoman Annie Black of Mesquite in November, or two other Republicans. The district includes parts of Las Vegas, North Las Vegas and much of central Nevada.

In District 1, Hardy will face seven other GOP hopefuls in the June 14 primary hoping to unseat Titus in a majority Democratic-voting district that became more competitive after redistricting.

Titus, a former university political science professor and longtime state lawmaker, has held the seat since 2013 and served from 2009 to 2011 representing District 3. She will face progressive Democrat Amy Vilela in the primary.

Michele Fiore, a Las Vegas City Council member who announced last year she was raising funds to run for governor, filed instead on Thursday for the Republican nomination to challenge incumbent Democratic state Treasurer Zach Conine.

Fourteen candidates filed for lieutenant governor. A three-person Democratic primary will feature Lisa Cano Burkhead, who Sisolak appointed in December, against Henderson Mayor Debra March and Rural Nevada Democratic Caucus Chair Kimi Cole.

A seven-member Republican field for lieutenant governor includes former state treasurer Dan Schwartz and Las Vegas City Councilman Stavros Anthony.

Former five-term state Assemblywoman Ellen Spiegel is the leading Democrat to become Nevada state controller and replace Catherine Byrne, who decided not to seek a second term.

In November, Spiegel would face state Assemblyman Andy Matthews, the only Republican seeking the job.