Trump-backed Vegas sheriff tops Democrat for Nevada governor

Nov 11, 2022, 7:15 PM | Updated: Nov 12, 2022, 8:46 pm
Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo, Republican candidate for governor of Nevada, speaks to supporter...

Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo, Republican candidate for governor of Nevada, speaks to supporters during an election night campaign event Tuesday, Nov. 8, 2022, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/John Locher)

(AP Photo/John Locher)

LAS VEGAS (AP) — Republican Joe Lombardo, a career police officer-turned-elected sheriff in Las Vegas who was endorsed by former President Donald Trump, has been elected governor in Nevada.

“I’ve dedicated my life to protecting and serving our community, and now, I’m honored to have the opportunity to protect and serve our entire state as your next governor,” Lombardo said in a statement issued shortly after Democratic incumbent Steve Sisolak conceded the race.

“It appears we will fall a percentage point or so short of winning,” Sisolak said in comments following a batch of vote results reported in Clark County. “That is why I reached out to the sheriff to wish him success.”

Both Sisolak and Lombardo faced the national spotlight five years ago, following the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history. At least 58 people died and hundreds were injured by a gunman shooting assault-style rifles from windows of a high-rise hotel into an outdoor concert crowd in Las Vegas.

At the time, Sisolak was chairman of the powerful Clark County Commission, the elected body with jurisdiction over the Las Vegas Strip. Lombardo was the nonpartisan elected Clark County sheriff and head of the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, the largest police agency in Nevada.

Sisolak went on to become Nevada’s 30th governor. Lombardo will be the 31st — making Sisolak a one-term Democrat amid two decades of Republicans. But Lombardo will contend with a Democratic-controlled state Legislature.

The governor’s race was close and ballot counting in Nevada stretched through several days partly because a broad mail voting law passed by the state Legislature in 2020 requires counties to accept ballots postmarked by Election Day if they arrive up to four days later.

Lombardo, 60, started as a police officer in Las Vegas in 1988 and served two terms as Clark County sheriff.

Trump’s endorsement helped him emerge from a crowded GOP field to win the June party primary. He weathered campaign attacks about his tenure as sheriff by acknowledging an increase in crime during the last two years but blaming funding limits and mandates from the Democratic-controlled Legislature.

“Our victory is a victory for all Nevadans who want our state to get back on track,” Lombardo said Friday, in echoes of campaign ads. He called his win a victory for small business owners, parents, students and law enforcers.

Sisolak acknowledged in his statement the criticism he received for closing businesses, schools and casinos in March 2020 during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic, and also pointed to “the stresses and strains of global inflation.”

“We made the tough decisions during COVID that helped save an estimated 30,000 Nevada lives,” the statement said, “even if those decisions sometimes had tough political ramifications.”

Lombardo, whose campaign photos occasionally showed him in police uniform, distanced himself from Trump at times during the campaign. He never offered an endorsement of unfounded claims that the 2020 presidential election was marred by fraud.

Lombardo said during his only campaign debate with Sisolak that any voting irregularities two years ago were not enough to change the outcome of the election.

Lombardo’s campaign and political committees supporting him received millions of dollars in support from wealthy Las Vegas-based hotel magnate and Las Vegas-area aerospace company owner Robert Bigelow.

At a campaign forum, Lombardo derided a state public health insurance option that the Legislature passed and Sisolak signed.

Lombardo said he looks at abortion through a “pro-life lens.” But he also said he would fight against a national abortion ban if Congress passed one and acknowledged that state law approved by Nevada voters in 1990 allows abortions up to 24 weeks into pregnancy.

Lombardo on Friday promised a victory speech Monday at the Las Vegas high school he attended and said he and his wife, Donna, “can’t wait to get to work for our state in Carson City.”


Follow AP’s coverage of the elections at:

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Secretary of Defense Lloyd Austin introduces the B-21 Raider stealth at Northrop Grumman Friday, De...
Associated Press

Keep COVID military vaccine mandate, defense chief says

ABOARD A U.S. MILITARY AIRCRAFT (AP) — Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin said he wants to keep the military’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate in place to protect the health of the troops, as Republican governors and lawmakers press to rescind it. This past week more than 20 Republican governors sent a letter to President Joe Biden asking […]
19 hours ago
Associated Press

Family says coyote attacked toddler outside LA home

LOS ANGELES (AP) — A coyote ambushed and injured a 2-year old girl outside her Los Angeles home in a daytime attack before her father chased the animal off, her family said. Home security video obtained by KTLA-TV shows the animal grab and drag the toddler across her lawn and sidewalk, just seconds after her […]
19 hours ago
FILE -  Rep. Jim Kolbe, R-Ariz, speaks during a press conference at the American University of Beir...
Associated Press

Longtime Arizona GOP Rep. Jim Kolbe dies at 80

PHOENIX (AP) — Jim Kolbe, a Republican congressman who represented a heavily Democratic region of Arizona for more than two decades and was a proponent of gay rights, has died. He was 80. Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey said in a statement that Kolbe died Saturday. Ducey ordered flags lowered until sunset Sunday. Kolbe served in […]
19 hours ago
Associated Press

Fan buying famed ‘Goonies’ house in Oregon, listed for $1.7M

ASTORIA, Ore. (AP) — The listing agent for the Victorian home featured in the “The Goonies” film in Astoria, Oregon, said this week the likely new owner is a fan of the classic coming-of-age movie about friendships and treasure hunting, and he promises to preserve and protect the landmark. The 1896 home with sweeping views […]
19 hours ago
New Los Angeles County Sheriff Robert Luna is sworn in by the Honorable Samantha Jersey, Presiding ...
Associated Press

New LA sheriff vows accountability, integrity for department

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The new head of the nation’s largest sheriff’s department vowed Saturday to usher in an era of integrity and collaboration after his predecessor’s tenure was marked by clashes with other public officials and allegations that ganglike groups of deputies ran amok within the agency. Robert Luna took an oath of office […]
19 hours ago
A a fan waits for the start of the World Cup round of 16 soccer match between the Netherlands and t...
Associated Press

American fans captivated by US team’s World Cup run

AL RAYYAN, Qatar (AP) — The bald man came dressed head-to-toe in full American spirit. A red, white and blue bandana, stars and stripes mismatched socks, shorts that might have been swimming trunks suited for a summer barbeque. Philip Labas wore an outfit bursting with pride for the United States men’s soccer team Saturday as […]
19 hours ago

Sponsored Articles

Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet edges out cable for everyday use

In a world where technology drives so much of our daily lives, a lack of high-speed internet can be a major issue.

Key dates for Arizona sports fans to look forward to this fall

Fall brings new beginnings in different ways for Arizona’s professional sports teams like the Cardinals and Coyotes.
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Ways to prevent clogged drains and what to do if you’re too late

While there are a variety of ways to prevent clogged drains, it's equally as important to know what to do when you're already too late.
Trump-backed Vegas sheriff tops Democrat for Nevada governor