Partisan State Primary races take on added significance

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There apparently is greater reason to pay attention to some of the Nevada partisan Primary races this year.

As many are just finding out (hopefully, all major party partisan candidates -Democrats and Republicans- are well aware of this) – if the only candidates in a race – for County Commissioner, City Supervisor, state legislature for example – are all Republicans, the winner of the Primary will be the only name to appear on the General Election ballot, not the two top vote- getters.

This new policy affects two of the three commissioner races in Lyon County:

  • District 1 Candidates – Republican John Cassinelli; Republican Bob Hastings
  • District 111 Candidates – Republican Ray Fierro; Republican Ken Gray; Republican Charles Shirley

The Primary winner of District 1 and District 111 will be the only name to appear on the General Election ballot. With no minor party candidates, the Primary race will determine the winner – leaving the decision as to who will serve in those positions to voting Republicans only.  Sorry, Lyon County Democrats – you will have no say in these races!

District IV Commissioner Republican Joe Mortensen is running unopposed.

According to Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) 293.260, and a recent reply from the Secretary of State’s office, as it was amended in the 2015 Legislative Session:

“Senate Bill 499 amended NRS 293.260 so that if a major political party has two or more candidates for an office, there must be a primary election regardless of whether there are any minor political party or independent candidates for the office. This is different from the old law where a primary election was not held in certain situations in which only one major political party had candidates for a partisan office. 

This change is particularly relevant to the rural counties where many of the candidates for partisan office are from the Republican Party.

In summary, if a major political party has two or more candidates for any office, there will always be a primary. The candidate who receives the highest number of votes at the primary election is declared the nominee of the party and will appear on the general election ballot as the only candidate for the office unless there is a minor party and/or independent candidate(s).”

Non-partisan races are run under different rules. Briefly, if there are only two candidates for any nonpartisan office, there is no primary election and the two candidates go directly to the general election ballot.  If there are three or more candidates for any nonpartisan office, there must be a primary election.  If none of the candidates at the primary receive 50 percent plus 1 of the vote, the top two vote getters go on to the general election.

All Carson City offices are non-partisan races.

By my count, four legislative races will be affected, with singular Republican or Democrat party Primary voters electing the representatives from the following districts:

District 26 with just two Republicans: (southwest Reno, northwest Carson)

  • Lisa Krasner
  • Jason Guinasso
  • Senate District 4 with just two Democrats: (Las Vegas)
  • Kelvin Atkinson
  •  Harvey Munford
  • State Assembly District 13 with just three Republicans: (Las Vegas
  • Paul Anderson
  • Leonard Foster
  • Steve Sansone

Assembly District 19 with just two republicans: (Las Vegas)

  • Chris Edwards
  • Connie Foust


See the Nevada Legislature for bill information pertaining to these changes (SB499 and SB5) at:


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