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Democrat Cisco Aguilar faces election denier in Nevada race to control elections

Cisco Aguilar
Cisco Aguilar

Cisco Aguilar

Two years ago, Nevadans went to the polls to select the next president of the United States. Since then, the state has been embroiled in a debate over whether the results of that election were accurate despite a lack of evidence that fraud affected the outcome of the race.  

Now, voters will select who will run that election system moving forward.  

One of the candidates, Jim Marchant, is a vocal supporter of the Big Lie. He’s gone on the record supporting a range of policies meant to tighten the state’s elections.  

His opponent, Democratic lawyer Cisco Aguilar, has vowed to expand and protect voting rights in Nevada. 

He joined  State of Nevada host Joe Schoenmann for more.

Aguilar said he’s passionate about our community. He moved to Las Vegas 14 years ago to work with tennis stars Andre Agassi and Steffi Graf. Because of that work, he became passionate about education, and eventually helped build a school in North Las Vegas. 

“If we're ever going to change our educational structure in this city, in this state, it's parents getting to the polls,” he said. 

In 2020, Republicans tried to change the results of the presidential election in Nevada, as well as many other states. 

Aguilar said we have to be grateful for current secretary of state Barbara Cegavske, who is a Republican. 

“She’s putting Nevada first before the party,” he said. “This race is no longer about Democratic or Republican priorities. This is about Nevadans being able to have voter confidence and know that their elections are well-run and secure.”

He said those who distrust the role of secretary of state were fed misinformation. His opponent, Marchant, has “lied to them about the outcomes of the race,” he said. Aguilar said it is his responsibility to listen to voters, be present and “sit down in environments that are very uncomfortable” to bring forth a solution.

On the topic of voter fraud, which hasn’t been an issue in Nevada, a 2021 Monmouth poll showed that 80% of Americans supported voter ID laws.

“If we had an issue with voter security, if we had constant fraud within our system, I think it would be a conversation, but we're not at that point,” Aguilar said. “We are talking about a fundamental right that's guaranteed to us in the Constitution, and the more burdens you start putting on a fundamental right, it just erodes every other fundamental right we believe in.”

Schoenmann asked Aguilar what he wanted voters to know about him before heading to the polls.

“I'm going to be honest with them, I'm going to be truthful. I'm also going to be pragmatic. It's my obligation as … hopefully an elected position to sit at the table, to listen to what the concerns are, listen to the arguments about why a certain argument exists, and then be able to propose a solution. And it's also building trust. This is not going to happen the first time I walk into Elko County or walk in Nye County; they're going to wonder who I am. Am I being honest with them? And do I have the ability to bring a solution? And can I listen to what their concerns are? It's gonna take time to build that trust. And once we build that trust, hopefully we can get to a position where voter confidence is increasing across the state, among Democrats, among Republicans, among nonpartisans. That is the duty of the Secretary of State's office, you are an administrator overseeing corporate filings, you've got to understand the process. You have to understand the outcomes, and you're a regulator, you're regulating elections.”

Aguilar is the Democratic nominee for Nevada's secretary of state; he faces Republican Jim Marchant. We've extended an interview invitation to Marchant as well, and we're still trying to get him on.


Cisco Aguilar, candidate, Secretary of State 

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Paul serves as KNPR's producer and reporter in Northern Nevada. Based in Reno, Paul specializes in covering state government and the legislature.
Kristen DeSilva (she/her) is the online editor for Nevada Public Radio. She curates content on, our weekly newsletter and social media for Nevada Public Radio and Desert Companion.