Nevada Governor Race Heats Up, Las Vegas Sheriff Raises Record Campaign Funds

Posted on: January 12, 2022, 12:22h. 

Last updated on: January 12, 2022, 01:49h.

Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak (D) is up for reelection this year, and it’s becoming increasingly clear who his Republican challenger will be.

Nevada governor 2022 election Joe Lombardo
Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo addresses the media with then-County Commission Chair Steve Sisolak looking on in the early hours of October 2, 2017, after a gunman the night before opened fire on the Las Vegas Strip. Lombardo is the betting favorite to unseat Gov. Sisolak in the Nevada governor’s race later this year. (Image: AP)

Sisolak won the gubernatorial race in 2018 over Republican Adam Laxalt, who served as the state’s attorney general under Gov. Brian Sandoval’s (R) administration. Sisolak, the former chair of the Clark County Commission, became the first Democratic governor in Nevada since Bob Miller ran the state back in the 1990s.

Sisolak’s tenure has been most difficult, as the global pandemic has posed extraordinary challenges in the gaming and hospitality-reliant state. As a result, Republicans believe Sisolak is a sitting duck, prime to become a lame duck, following the November election.

Joe Lombardo, the Clark County sheriff and head of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department (LVMPD), has the GOP momentum in a crowded primary field. The law enforcement official is best known throughout the country for being the face of the response to the 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas that killed 58 people.

Oddsmakers Favor Lombardo

Fox News reports that Lombardo’s 2022 Nevada campaign raised $3.1 million in late June through the end of the year, the time period he announced his candidacy. That haul is a record amount for a GOP gubernatorial candidate in Nevada in a non-election year.

I’m truly honored by the tremendous show of support my campaign has received so far,” Lombardo said in a statement. “For far too long, Steve Sisolak and Nevada’s radical, single-party state rule have failed us, and I think these numbers clearly reflect that Nevadans are ready for something new.”

The Hill has named Sisolak as one of its “seven most vulnerable governors” up for reelection in 2022. Political bettors agree.

The PredictIt market asking which party will win the 2022 Nevada gubernatorial election has Republican shares trading at 53 cents.

As for who will win the GOP primary, Lombardo is the front-runner. His shares of securing the party ticket are at 58 cents. Former US Nevada Senator Dean Heller is next at 37 cents.

Harvest Music Shooting

Lombardo was having dinner at a Palazzo steakhouse with out-of-town friends visiting Las Vegas when 64-year-old Stephen Paddock opened fire at an outdoor country music festival. The sheriff rushed to the scene minutes after reports came in regarding the shooting, which was the deadliest mass shooting in the United States in the previous 100 years.

Lombardo told the world that Paddock was responsible for the horrific event. The sheriff held numerous press conferences in the days and weeks after, though LVMPD and federal agencies were never able to pinpoint a motive for Paddock’s actions.

Pillars of Lombardo’s campaign include no new taxes on state residents, and restoring the reputation of law enforcement.

“The current rhetoric is politicians focusing on felons’ rights and handcuffing the police,” Lombardo declared when he announced his campaign. “All this police reform has done nothing more than create an environment where police officers are afraid to do their job. The criminal element knows that, and they’re taking advantage of it.”