2018 could be most expensive governor’s race in state’s history


Candidates for Nevada’s governor race are starting to report their fundraising totals, and one candidate has a war chest that dwarfs his rivals.  Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak, who is running for the Democratic nomination, has the biggest haul, but his rival, Chris Giunchigliani, isn’t too far behind. 

Because of the two candidates’ war chests, it’s looking like 2018 will be the most expensive governor’s race in history. 

The year 2010 was the last competitive contest for the position of governor, and the candidates alone spent a combined total of more than $7 million.  But the most recent race’s fundraising totals are already well past that mark. 

The leader of the pack, Democratic Clark County Commission Chairman Steve Sisolak raised $2.5 million in 2017 in anticipation of the race, and as of Jan. 2018, he has the largest bank account in the race at $5.75 million. 

But Sisolak will have to spend some of that money to fend off his primary challenger, fellow Clark County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani. She raised $800,000, and transferred $200,000 more from her county campaign fund, for an even $1 million. 

Giunchigliani’s campaign released a poll Tuesday that showed her running competitively against Republican and Nevada State Attorney General Adam Laxalt in the general election if Giunchigliani wins the primary. In a recent phone survey, Giunchigliani gets 34 percent of the vote to Laxalt’s 39 percent, while Sisolak gets 34 percent to Laxalt’s 37 percent. The rest of the votes are undecided. 

Laxalt is the number two fundraiser in the race, taking in $2.6 million in 2017, with a bank account of 3 million on hand. He’s raised a total of just more than 4 million in the entire cycle. 

Laxalt’s primary competition is State Treasurer Dan Schwartz, an outsider Republican who has raised $431,000. Of that money, Schwartz has loaned his own campaign $355,000. 

The dollar amounts discussed in this article are just the amounts raised by the candidates, they don’t include spending by outside interests including PACS, which will raise the totals considerably by the time election day comes around in November. 

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