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Sisolak has huge war chest going into election year

CARSON CITY – Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak starts his re-election bid with nearly $8.3 million to spend, comfortably ahead in fundraising thus far against his top Republican rivals and sitting on more than twice their combined cash.

The first-term governor this week reported raising $4.45 million last year to claim the top fundraising spot, despite passing more than half the year unable to seek contributions. A fundraising blackout goes into effect during Nevada’s legislative sessions, extending for a month before and after a regular session and 15 days around a special session. Lawmakers met in both regular and special session last year.

Republican Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo, who took to conservative media last week to tout a record-setting fundraising year, saw the governor eclipse his $3.1 million haul by 40 percent.

Combined, however, the top seven Republicans raised $7.8 million last year, about 75 percent more than Sisolak. But that figure includes $2.2 million in loans candidates made to their campaigns.

North Las Vegas Mayor John Lee and Reno-based venture capitalist Guy Nohra reported raising $1.6 million and $1.3 million, respectively, with Lee loaning his campaign $1 million and Nohra putting up $1.2 million.

Rounding out the rest of the top Republican field, former U.S. Sen. and Secretary of State Dean Heller reported raising $650,000 and Las Vegas City Councilwoman Michele Fiore reported nearly $600,000. Reno attorney Joey Gilbert reported $325,000, and Gardnerville surgeon Fred Simon reported $183,000.

Republicans spent nearly $4 million combined in 2021, close to six times what Sisolak reported. Lombardo and Lee each spent close to $1 million followed by Nohra, who reported $729,000 in expenses. Fiore spent about $395,000, Heller just more than $384,000, Gilbert $260,000, and Simon $172,000.

Sisolak, who spent just less than $700,000 last year, had more than three times as much cash on hand at year’s end as Lombardo, the next-richest candidate – $8.29 million compared to Lombardo’s $2.65 million. Lee was next with $782,000 followed by Nohra with $586,000, Heller with $265,000, and Fiore with $189,000. Gilbert reported $65,000 cash on hand and Simon $11,700.

The next campaign finance filing deadline is mid-April. The deadline for candidates to file their official paperwork to run is March 18. The primary election is on June 14.

Contact Capital Bureau reporter Bill Dentzer at bdentzer@reviewjournal.com. Follow @DentzerNews on Twitter.

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