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UPDATED: Trump-backed candidates take some Nevada races in Tuesday’s primary


Update: June 19

Only about 30% of registered Washoe County voters cast a ballot in Tuesday’s primary election, and more than half of the votes – nearly 59% — were made by mail-in ballot. As all of the votes continued to be tallied by the Washoe County Registrar of Voters, many of the outcomes of the races remained unchanged.

Several races, however, are close enough that results have changed since our first report.

Here’s an update on several statewide and local races from Nevada’s 2022 primary election based on totals posted just before 5 p.m. June 18:

Gilbert throws tantrum

We originally reported that while Jan. 6 attendee Joey Gilbert had lost the statewide GOP nomination for governor to Joe Lombardo he’d gotten more votes in Washoe County. As the counting continued, he fell behind even in the local results.

Statewide, Gilbert lost to Lombardo by about 11 percentage points (38% vs. 27%), a decisive win for the Trump-endorsed southern Nevada candidate. And despite many other GOP and Trump-endorsed candidates winning their races, Gilbert has cried foul.

“I smell a lawsuit because this STINKS!” he posted on Facebook in the early hours of June 15, following that statement with the threat of a lawsuit. By Thursday he seemed to accept his loss (but not concede), and said he’d challenge any Democratic wins in November’s general election.

Washoe County races

Republican Michael Clark’s defeat of incumbent Bob Lucey for Washoe County Commission District 2 has been solidified with Clark earning 57% of the vote vs. just under 43% for Lucey. The current protection order keeping Clark off of the Washoe County Administrative Complex property will be expired by the time he could potentially take office after November’s general election. Should he win the seat later this year it will likely set up an awkward dynamic at the county.

Fewer than 100 votes separate Washoe County School Board Trustee for District B incumbent Ellen Minetto (4,408 votes) from her challenger Colleen Westlake (4,314 votes). Minetto was initially trailing, but as votes continued to be tallied she took the lead and may have a shot of hanging onto her seat.

The outcomes of the rest of the races remain the same, however the percentage of votes earned by candidates has changed. To see the most current results, visit the Washoe County Primary dashboard.

Original Story: June 15

Editor’s Note: Results are provided as of 5 a.m. Wednesday, June 15, 2022 and counts are not final.

Several incumbents lost their races in Tuesday’s primary election, bringing change to Washoe County’s governing bodies. Other races were easily decided, including a win for Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo who was endorsed by Donald Trump and projected to win the Republican nod for governor. 

Gubernatorial candidate Joey Gilbert heads to the polls for the primary election June 14, 2022 in Reno, Nev.
Gubernatorial candidate Joey Gilbert heads to the polls for the primary election June 14, 2022 in Reno, Nev. Image: Ty O’Neil / This Is Reno

Ultimately, more than a handful of wins up and down the ticket went to Trump-backed and Trump-supporting candidates.

As of 5 a.m. Wednesday morning Lombardo had earned more than 38% of the GOP vote. His closest competitor was Reno lawyer Joey Gilbert – the only member of a crowded field of candidates who was present at the Jan. 6 insurrection – with nearly 28% of the votes. 

Gilbert led the vote tally in Washoe County where he’s based, but failed to pick up statewide support. Former Senator Dean Heller trailed with less than 15% of the votes statewide. 

Lombardo will face incumbent Gov. Steve Sisolak in November for the governor’s seat. Sisolak easily won his primary picking up nearly 90% of the vote. 

Trump-favored candidates win some local races

Trump-backed Republican Adam Laxalt beat out political newcomer Sam Brown to take the GOP primary for Senate, setting up what will likely be an intense and costly general election campaign against Democrat incumbent Catherine Cortez Masto. 

Laxalt has been criticized locally on a handful of issues including for filing an election fraud lawsuit for the 2020 election, embracing “the great replacement theory” and his anti-abortion stance. In Trump-fashion, Laxalt has also hinted that he’s ready to file preemptive legal challenges to try and lock in his win.

Republicans Jeanne Herman and Michael Clark both led in their races for Washoe Board of County Commissioners. 

Workers at the Washoe County Registrar of Voters count votes for the primary election June 14, 2022 in Reno, Nev.
Workers at the Washoe County Registrar of Voters count votes for the primary election June 14, 2022 in Reno, Nev. Image: Ty O’Neil / This Is Reno

Herman was at the center of a failed effort to overhaul the county’s elections procedures based on easily debunked election fraud claims. That effort drew a number of competitors for her seat in district 5, including Democrat Edwin Lyngar who she’ll run against for the general election.

County Assessor Michael Clark, who is still banned from Washoe County offices through a court-issued temporary protection order, beat out incumbent and former Commission Chair Bob Lucey. Lucey in March filed an unsuccessful challenge to Clark’s candidacy because of changes to Clark made to his voter registration.

Also in the County Commission races, Democrat Mariluz Garcia beat out Kyle Isacksen for the district 3 seat vacated by the term-limited Kitty Jung. Garcia is now running against Republican Denise Myer for the seat.

Four seats on the Washoe County School District Board of Trustees are up for grabs this year. The three trustees appointed to fill vacancies on the board over the past year – Adam Mayberry, Joe Rodriguez and Beth Smith – all appear to have won their races. 

Rodriguez, as of 5 a.m. Wednesday had less than a one percentage point lead over Melanie Sutton, who is backed by the Save WCSD group. That group’s members over the past two years have inundated trustees with protests and public comment denouncing Critical Race Theory, diversity and inclusion and other issues in schools. 

Incumbent Trustee Ellen Minetto lost her race to Colleen Westlake, who is also backed by Save WCSD. 

WCSD Board of Trustees Chair Angela Taylor won her primary for State Assembly district 27. If she wins her bid in November, another school board seat will be up for grabs. 

Incumbents win in city races

Mayor Hillary Schieve easily defeated rival City Councilmember Jenny Brekhus in the race for the mayor’s seat. Repeat contenders Eddie Lorton and William Mantle weren’t able to muster the votes to come out on top either, but Lorton made the best showing with nearly 30% of the vote.

Council incumbents Naomi Duerr and Bonnie Weber also beat out their nearest opponents, Jay Kenny and Meghan Ebert, respectively. 

Check out our gallery of photos from Primary Election Day at the Washoe County Registrar of Voters taken by photographer Ty O’Neil:

  • Workers at the Washoe County Registrar of Voters count votes for the primary election June 14, 2022 in Reno, Nev.
  • washoe-primary-election-6-14-22-ty-oneil-4-of-10-780x520-1904096-8432219
  • Primary election voting on June 14, 2022.

Other local and statewide results

  • Republican Lisa Krasner, who served three terms in the State Assembly was running to switch houses for the State Senate seat in district 16. She was leading over incumbent Don Tatro. Tatro was appointed to the seat in November 2021 to replace Ben Kieckhefer. During the appointment process he said he did not plan to run for the seat this year, but since then changed his mind. 
  • Democrat incumbent Lisa Cano Burkhead, who was appointed Lieutenant Governor in December 2021, beat out her competitors and will face GOP candidate Stavros Anthony in November. 
  • Republican Jim Marchant, who has continued to spread election fraud claims across the state, picked up enough votes to earn the GOP nomination for Secretary of State. Marchant will face Democrat Cisco Aguilar, Independent Janine Hansen and Libertarian Ross Crane in the general election.
  • The far-right Michele Fiore – whose first launch into the 2022 election was in the governor’s race – picked up the GOP nomination in the State Treasurer race. She’ll face off against Democrat incumbent Zach Conine, Independent Margaret Hendrickson and Libertarian Bryan Elliott in November.
  • Democrat Ellen Spiegel won her race for State Controller and will face Republican Andy Matthews and Libertarian Jed Profeta in November’s general election.
  • Republican and self-described constitutional conservative Sigal Chattah will challenge Democrat incumbent Aaron Ford for the Attorney General seat in November. Libertarian John T. Kennedy is also in that race.

A full list of county races is available here, and a list of statewide races is here.

Update: This story was updated to correct that Krasner has served three terms, but was not termed out of her Assembly seat.

Kristen Hackbarth
Kristen Hackbarth
Kristen Hackbarth is a freelance editor and communications professional with more than 20 years’ experience working in marketing, public relations and communications in northern Nevada. Kristen graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a degree in photography and minor in journalism and has a Master of Science in Management and Leadership. She also serves as director of communications for Nevada Cancer Coalition, a statewide nonprofit. Though she now lives in Atlanta, she is a Nevadan for life and uses her three-hour time advantage to get a jump on the morning’s news.