NORTH LAS VEGAS (KTNV) — Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo is the winner in Nevada's Republican gubernatorial primary.
As of Wednesday morning, polls showed Lombardo leading with more than 40% of the votes counted so far. At the Clark County election center, votes were still being counted, but the Associated Press called the GOP governor's race just after midnight, declaring Lombardo the victor.
Lombardo will face incumbent Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak in the 2022 General Election in November.
At the sheriff's primary watch party on Tuesday night, he capitalized on the anxiety many Nevadans felt during the COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns. He blamed Sisolak for lost wages and for ignoring disproportionately high COVID death rates in some rural counties of the state.
For his part, Sisolak slammed Lombardo as a "candidate who wants to tear away our progress." The governor also posted a message to his Twitter account Tuesday night, accepting the Democratic nomination.
Thank you, Nevada.— Steve Sisolak (@SteveSisolak) June 15, 2022
You put your trust in me in our fight for a second term and I humbly accept your nomination.
We aren’t finished delivering for Nevada yet.
We’ve made significant progress since 2019 - but we have more work to do to keep Nevada moving forward. pic.twitter.com/qKG0dFCWyz
"We aren't finished delivering for Nevada yet," Sisolak stated. "We've made significant progress since 2019, but we have more work to do to keep Nevada moving forward."
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Lombardo became a Las Vegas Metropolitan police officer in 1988 and held several positions within the department until 2015, when he was elected sheriff. Las year, he announced he'd be running for governor of Nevada with the Republican Party.
Tuesday's primary saw him defeat 14 other GOP gubernatorial hopefuls, including former Sen. Dean Heller, former boxer Joey Gilbert and North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee.
"Tonight is not just a victory for our campaign; tonight is a victory for Nevadans across the state," Lombardo said Tuesday night. "It's a win for parents and their children and their education. It's a win for safer communities, and it's a win for small business owners."
Voters on Tuesday also decided the general election candidates in several other major statewide races, including candidates for Senate, Congress, secretary of state and attorney general. Track the primary election results at ktnv.com/nvprimary2022.