Lucia Starbuck / KUNR Public Radio
RENO, Nev. — Republican Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo will be Nevada’s next governor, fending off Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak, according to a race call from The Associated Press.
Sisolak is the only incumbent governor (so far) to lose re-election in 2022. The main issues in the race were crime, abortion and the economy. In 2018, he was elected the state’s first Democratic governor in more than two decades.
Former President Donald Trump has endorsed Lombardo, who says he disagrees with Trump that there was fraud in the 2020 election.
Lombardo is an Army veteran who started as a police officer with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department in 1988 and was elected sheriff in 2014. Lombardo became a national name during the 2017 Las Vegas mass shootings .
He supports school choice vouchers, which would allow parents to use state money for private education. Opponents argue it would take resources from public schools. Nevada ranks low nationally for student achievement.
Democrats criticized Lombardo for changing his stance on several issues. He previously said he supported a 13-week abortion ban, but later said the decision should be up to Nevada voters. Abortions are guaranteed for up to 24 weeks under state law.
Lombardo has sided with Trump twice, but disagrees that there was widespread voter fraud in 2020. Lombardo also implemented a COVID-19 vaccine requirement for new Metropolitan Police hires, but backed off.
Economically, Nevada has been hit hard by the pandemic, but casinos are now seeing record revenues. The state still has one of the highest unemployment rates. Lombardo has promised not to raise taxes and wants to see Nevada’s economy diversify away from tourism into manufacturing jobs.
More coverage of the 2022 elections: