Incumbents lead campaign fundraising efforts in Nevada

Most legislative and other western Nevada incumbents are enjoying a major advantage in campaign fundraising, according to the first contribution and expense reports filed with the secretary of state's office.

The exception so far is Regent Ron Knecht, who is not doing so well compared to his opponent. His report listed $1,395 in contributions - $745 of it from his own bank account. By comparison, Michon Mackedon has raised $4,755 - $1,630 of it in contributions under $100.

Knecht is seeking a second six-year term on the board.

Among those with the biggest advantage in fundraising are Carson City's Pete Livermore, seeking his second Assembly term, and former Assembly minority leader Pete Goicoechea, R-Eureka.

Livermore, a Republican, has raised $38,192, compared to just $100 for his primary opponent, Phillip Davies, and just $45 for Democrat Rich Dunn.

Livermore's largest single contribution was $2,000 from the Nevada Realtors PAC. However, he reported a string of $1,000 contributions from sources including the Las Vegas Chamber of Commerce, the Retail Association of Nevada, NV Energy and Barrick Goldstrike.

Livermore has spent $21,190 of that total.

Goicoechea, R-Eureka, isn't expected to need the $41,800 he has already raised for his bid to claim the open Senate District 19 seat. As one of his party's leaders, he is expected to help out other GOP candidates in the general election.

He doesn't have a primary and in November, faces Independent American Party member Janine Hansen, who has raised just $3,055, and Democrat Harley Kulkin, who hasn't raised any money.

Assemblyman Kelly Kite of Minden - who, like Livermore, is seeking his second term - has raised significantly more than Jim Wheeler, the other Republican in the race, $34,200 versus $10,276. Republican Gary Schmidt's report had not yet been received by the secretary of state's office, and Independent American Party member David Schumann listed no contributions.

The State Board of Education race is drawing a surprising amount of money for an office that normally can barely find contributors.

The race pits two current board members against each other as a result of the legislative redesign of that board making some members appointees.

Adriana Fralick reported $9,713 in contributions. No report was on file for the other current member, Dave Cook.

But longtime industrial company lobbyist Ray Bacon reported a total of $10,000 in contributions, primary from business interests but including $3,000 from his own pocket.

Donna Clontz listed $8,100, but $5,000 of that is her own money.

The remaining candidate, Scott Carey, reported just $180 in contributions.

Finally, two unopposed Assembly members reported receiving significant contributions in this first quarter. Yerington Republican Tom Grady listed $14,500, including $2,500 apiece from Peri & Sons of Yerington and Newmont Gold, along with $3,000 from the Nevada Realtors PAC. Elko freshman John Ellison reported $19,000, including $2,000 from Newmont and the same from the Nevada Realtors PAC.

The deadline for filing contribution reports in federal races including the U.S. Senate race and four races for House seats is this week.

Nevada's primary election is set for June 12. Early voting begins Saturday.


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