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The Field is Set, Let’s Get Ready to Rummmble!

(Chuck Muth) – Aannndd…they’re off!

With the possible exception of candidates withdrawing over the next week, the match-ups for this election cycle in Nevada are set.  A look at some of the key races while I take a break from my book-writing project…

In the U.S. Senate race against Democrat incumbent Jacky Rosen, Republicans are likely to nominate Sam Brown.  Money makes a difference, and he’s successfully swamped the field by raising over $3 million going into the primary and has the backing of the GOP establishment.

Personally, I think Tony Grady – with his breadth of life experience – is the best-qualified candidate for the job. But in politics, it’s not the best candidate who wins.  It’s the best campaign.  And Tony, unfortunately, has been unable to catch fire with donors.

The wild card in this race might be Jeff Gunter, but only *if* he self-funds his campaign to the tune of a couple million dollars and is somehow able to land Donald Trump’s endorsement.  And if Trump’s followers – many of whom are already supporting Brown – switch over to his camp.  A heavy lift.

Perennial candidate Jim Marchant is running a vanity campaign on “election fraud” but has gotten little traction.  He’d lose this race in a landslide of Sigal Chattah proportions if he’s the GOP nominee.

Stephanie Phillips – who should have run for a legislative seat instead – is playing the gender card: “It takes a woman to beat a woman.”  But Republican voters don’t play identity politics the way Democrats do.

Bottom line: This is Brown’s race to lose. But there’s a fly in his anointment.

The wild card will be in the general election, with conservative Janine Hansen launching a third-party bid.  Janine has high name ID for a third-party candidate and is likely to pull 2-3 percent, enough to make the difference in a close race.

In Nevada’s 1st congressional district race, the front-runner is Fleming Larsen.  Larsen scored an impressive second-place finish in his state Assembly race in 2022 in a Democrat district and has put together a solid campaign.

His nearest competitor is Mark Robertson, who was the GOP nominee for this seat last time out.  But Larsen to date has been running a far more impressive campaign. The other candidates who filed trail well behind the pair.

In Nevada’s 2nd congressional district, no Democrat filed against incumbent Republican Mark Amodei, who will easily win his primary and hold the seat.

In Nevada’s 3rd congressional district, newcomer and late-entry Marty O’Donnell – with the backing of Team Lombardo – is likely to emerge from the GOP primary as the party’s nominee against a half-dozen challengers who don’t have the juice to go the distance.

In Nevada’s 4th congressional district, expect former legislator and former North Las Vegas mayor John Lee to easily dispatch Dave Flippo, who picked the wrong race and the wrong district at the wrong time.

In the State Senate, Republicans need to hold three competitive seats and/or flip one or two Democrat seats to avoid ending up in a super-minority. And it doesn’t look good.

In Senate District 18 in Clark County – currently held by Republican Scott Hammond – the likely GOP nominee will be Lombardo-endorsed John Steinbeck, who is currently the Clark County fire chief.

Conservative Assemblyman Richard McArthur also filed for this seat in the primary, but historically has had trouble raising money.  He was able to overcome that challenge in his Assembly district but is not likely to prevail at the Senate level.

In Senate District 15 in Washoe County, Democrats gerrymandered the district to the point where even liberal Republican incumbent Heidi Gansert would have a tough time holding the seat had she run for re-election.

The likely GOP nominee will be former conservative Assemblywoman Sharron Angle. But Angle’s the wrong fit for this new Democrat-majority district and is unlikely to hold the seat in November.

Senate District 5 in Clark County is currently held by Republican Carrie Buck.  She’s being challenged in the primary by three guys from California – Richard Frederick, Rich Fayden, and Richard Auchmoody II – who are all the same guy.  Click here if you missed my column on this shyster.

The problem for Buck is that the “Three Dicks” will force Buck to spend crucial dollars winning the primary, leaving her much more vulnerable than she already is in the general.

If Buck and Angle lose in the general, Republicans will need to hold Hammond’s seat and flip two Democrat seats.

The best blue-to-red opportunity is in Senate District 11.  Lombardo-endorsed Lori Rogich will make quick work of her GOP primary opponent and then turn her sights on incumbent Democrat Dallas Harris.  Tough race, but Rogich is a solid candidate with backing.  An upset wouldn’t surprise me.

The tougher race is in Senate District 6, currently held by Senate Majority Leader Nicole Cannibizzaro.  The likely GOP nominee will be Jill Douglass – currently president of Battle Born Republican Women. She’ll be wildly outspent in the race and will need to make up the difference with a flawless volunteer ground campaign and hope the political winds shift the GOP’s way in the fall.

One other Senate race of note…

In Senate District 19 – currently held by termed-out Republican Sen. Pete Goicoechea and stretching from Elko to Pahrump – former conservative Assemblyman John Ellison is the favorite in the primary against two Pahrump candidates who should have run for something else or not run at all.

The winner of the primary in this district will win the general, as no sacrificial lamb Democrat candidate fell on their sword and filed.

In the State Assembly, Republicans need to flip one net seat to get out of their super-minority status, providing they hold onto two competitive GOP incumbent seats.

Assemblywoman Heidi Kasama – who eschewed a congressional run to better protect her AD2 seat – avoided a primary when Clark Couty GOP chief Jesse Law withdrew and didn’t file.  But she did draw a last-minute Democrat candidate who will give her a run for her money.  Still, Kasama is likely to hold the seat.

In AD4, Lisa Cole – endorsed by Gov. Joe Lombardo – is a very strong candidate who should hold this seat, which is being vacated by Assemblyman McArthur.  No walk in the park, but Cole is solid.

All other incumbent R’s are in safe seats, a number of whom didn’t draw any opponents at all and will be running unopposed.

In the Assembly’s top tier of competitive races where Gov. Lombardo has already endorsed a candidate, the GOP is in pretty good shape.

Diana Sande (AD25-Washoe), Rebecca Edgeworth (AD35-Clark), and David Brog (AD37-Clark) avoided primaries and can immediately start focusing on the general.

Rafael Arroyo (AD41) and Annette Owens (AD29) have only token primary opponents and should emerge pretty much unscathed.

A far-more contentious primary will be in AD21 (Clark), where Lombardo-endorsed April Arndt will be squaring off against Jon Petrick, who lost in his bid for this seat in 2022.  Expect this one to be a nasty barn-burner, which could cost Republicans this otherwise flippable seat.

Of the second-tier Assembly races, Republicans with a realistic shot at flipping a Dem seat if they catch a couple of breaks include Kelly Chapman (AD8-Clark) and Brandon Davis (AD34-Clark).

Another race to keep an eye on is AD9 in Clark County, currently held by Democrat Assembly Speaker Steve “Donut Boy” Yeager.

Yeager has been under fire for months now over reports that he ran a “favor factory” in Carson City where Assembly Democrats used their offices to shovel tax dollars to favored charities.  Oh, and he also drew a Democrat primary opponent, though I doubt it’s a credible threat.

Republican Erica Neely, who ran for school board in 2022, stands as a stark contrast to Yeager’s opposition to giving parents the right to choose their kids’ schools.

Yeager’s race in 2022 against a nominal GOP opponent was a lot closer than you’d have expected.  He’s gonna have his hands full with Erica if she puts together a credible campaign – especially with Team Lombardo gunning for him.

Of important note for Republicans, none of these legislative candidates drew third-party opponents who can draw enough support away in the general election to throw the seat to the Dems – as hair-brained Libertarian Mindy Robinson did in AD35 in 2022.

Overall, if Nevada Republicans don’t blow it by nominating candidates in the primary who can’t/won’t win the general, they’re in pretty good shape this cycle.  Some really, really, really solid candidates – *IF* – they put together really, really, really solid campaigns.

Ladies and gentlemen, start your engines.

Oh, and Happy St. Paddy’s Day!

7 Habits of Highly Unelectable People

  1. Picking the wrong race
  2. Picking the wrong district
  3. Picking the wrong issues
  4. Picking the wrong time
  5. Picking the wrong consultants
  6. Picking unnecessary fights with the media
  7. Picking door-knocking over fundraising


“The Democrats are trying to achieve a supermajority (in the Nevada Legislature) because they believe that’s to the benefit of the state, which I absolutely disagree with.  I have vetted candidates, I have identified candidates, I have recruited candidates, I am raising money for candidates to help with their success, to ensure that we prevent (a veto-proof supermajority).” – Nevada Gov. Joe Lombardo, 3/12/24

Mr. Muth is president of Citizen Outreach, publisher of Nevada News & Views, and founder of  You can sign up for his conservative, Nevada-focused e-newsletter at  His views are his own.


This blog/website is written and paid for by…me, Chuck Muth, a United States citizen. I publish my opinions under the rights afforded me by the Creator and the First Amendment to the United States Constitution as adopted by our Founding Fathers on September 17, 1787 at the Constitutional Convention in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania without registering with any government agency or filling out any freaking reports. And anyone who doesn’t like it can take it up with George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Ben Franklin and John Adams the next time you run into each other.

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