Reno, Nev. ( Associated Press) — The latest spending report for state candidates in Nevada lays out a familiar pattern: Incumbent Democrats picked up more than their Republican opponents in every statewide race.
The reports give a glimpse into who has a stake in some of the nation’s most stringent statewide elections.
Filmmaker Steven Spielberg and actress Kate Capshaw, who are married, each donated $10,000 to the campaign for Democratic State Attorney General Aaron Ford.
About two-thirds of Republican Secretary of State candidate Jim Merchant’s funding this quarter came from himself.
Jonathan Soros, a billionaire investor whose family of influential donors has become the subject of far-right conspiracy theories, contributed to the Democratic candidates for governor, secretary of state, attorney general, and treasurer.
Perhaps most notably, a PAC supports the Nevada Democrats and is established by some in the Nevada government. Steve Sisolak’s 2018 campaign donated $685,000 to the Patriot Freedom Fund PAC—which ran ads favoring far-right candidates and attacked Sisolak’s challenger, Joe Lombardo. Correct.
donation, first reported Follows a National Trend, by the Nevada Independent of Democratic groups trying to influence the GOP primary election, funding far-right candidates whom they can easily defeat in November than those with more mainstream views.
The expense report, filed on Friday, documents fundraising and spending from April 1 to June 30.
Some of Sisolak’s top donors include rideshare company Lyft, statewide utility NV Energy Inc., pharmaceutical firm Pfizer PAC, Women’s Care Center for Nevada, and Nevadan for Reliable Renewable Affordable Energy. Sisolak raised about $1.7 million during the quarter — more than double Lombardo’s $822,000.
In cumulative fundraising, Sisolak is leading Lombardo with approximately $3.3 million to $1.65 million.
Yet Lombardo only outpaced Sisolak by just over $2 million in the quarter.
Lombardo’s largest donor by far was the aerospace company Bigelow Aerospace Office, a Nevada-based outer space tech company that often donated $5,000 under similar names, but all listed corporate addresses in Las Vegas.
Founder and CEO Robert Bigelow has contributed to several conservative campaigns and is the biggest donor to Ron DeSantis, a Republican Florida Gov. Bigelow was also a longtime donor and friend of Democratic U.S. Sen. Harry Reid, who used to Part of the Pentagon’s budget for UFO sightings after Bigelow contacts them.
Lombardo also received large donations from the Nevada Auto Dealers Elections Committee (PAC) and the Nevada Trucking Association.
With the GOP primary behind him, Lombardo has $1.2 million in his fund balance. Sisolak has about $11 million.
Home Means Nevada PACs donated to affect GOP primary in four increments in May and June. Lombardo’s communications director Elizabeth Wray said in a tweet on Friday that the donation was “shameful and shameful”.
In May, the state GOP urged voters to ignore ads for the American Freedom Fund and sent A ceasefire letter to the PAC after sending mailers attacking Lombardo.
In a heated campaign for Nevada Secretary of State, Democrat Cisco Aguilar largely outpaced Republican Jim Merchant in a particularly large donation.
Aguilar had 15 contributions of $10,000—all but one from out-of-state, with five from New York City. He also had 15 other contributors who raised $5,000, although 13 of them were from out of state. Both David Rockefeller Jr. and Susan Rockefeller, who are married, donated $1,250 each to their campaign.
Meanwhile, Merchant’s self-contributions of approximately $164,000 accounted for about 63% of their total fundraising for the quarter.
Aguilar extended this filing period to Merchant from $451,000 to $258,000. His balance is just over $859,000 compared to the merchant’s $15,000.
The biggest difference in fundraising comes from the attorney general’s race, where incumbent Democrat Aaron Ford has outperformed Republican challenger Sigal Chatta more than tenfold, from $859,000 to $83,000 during the reporting period.
More than 15% of Chatta’s fundraising in this period is from the $12,650 she lent to her campaign. Ford has about $2.3 million in its fund balance and Chatta has about $62,000.
In the race for state treasurer, Democratic incumbent Zach Conine received nearly $209,000 in the period—with hotels and casinos among his biggest donors—and spent nearly $57,000.
Republican challenger Michelle Fiore received approximately $159,000 and spent $168,000. Fiore currently sits on the Las Vegas City Council.
Konin has about $350,000 to spend now, while Fiore has just over $17,400.
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