Republican Rep. Mark Amodei was headed for a clear victory in his bid for a third full term in Congressional District 2.
With 30 percent of the vote counted, he led Chip Evans by more than 57,000 votes.
Evans put up a strong fight on his home turf, Washoe County, where he has been a prominent figure in the Democratic party. But even there Amodei was winning 90,434 to 76,629 with 30 percent of the votes counted.
In Carson City, Amodei’s hometown, he won 60 percent of the vote — 14,594 to 8,451 for Evans. Carson reported a 92 percent turnout for the election.
At press time, Amodei had 168,130 to Evans’ 105,030 —with 84 percent of the vote reported.
CD2 encompasses seven of Nevada’s 17 counties and, across the rural part of the state, he did even better, gathering near 80 percent of the vote in places like Elko.
Overall, Amodei jumped out to a lead of 65 percent over Evans and the other two candidates, Independent American John Everhart and independent Drew Knight.
Amodei said during the campaign he was running on a record despite the dysfunction in Congress, included several major accomplishments for Nevada and his district. In particular, he cited the package of five lands bills to help communities from Yerington to McDermitt and Elko get ownership of federal lands. He cited the Fish Springs-Pyramid Lake Settlement Act he says will add water supplies to the Truckee Meadows and the Native Nations legislation giving six tribal governments more control over their own destiny.
He said he also helped the Reno Tahoe Airport get authority to hire more customs agents to handle flights arriving from Mexico and work with the Army Corps of Engineers resolve issues for the southeast transportation corridor in the Truckee Meadows.
“Despite the general culture in DC, those are examples of success stories,” he said.
In Las Vegas’s CD1, incumbent Democrat Dina Titus was on her way to a near 2:1 victory over Republican Mary Perry. The non-partisan and Independent American candidates were far behind in that Democratic controlled district.
In the other CD3, also in Las Vegas, Democrat and newcomer Jackie Rosen was maintaining a 48-45 percent lead — about 10,000 votes — over Republican Danny Tarkanian. Incumbent Joe Heck vacated the seat to run for U.S. Senate.
Rosen was initially considered a serious underdog but ran a strong and effective campaign to close the gap.
Probably the most interesting of the congressional races is CD4 where incumbent Republican Cresent Hardy was a surprise victor over Democrat Steven Horsford two years ago. Since registration gives Democrats an advantage there, the party put a strong effort into reclaiming the seat this time.
State Senator Ruben Kihuen had just a hair under 49 percent of the vote as the evening progressed but Hardy’s total was 44.5 percent. And with most of the six rural counties where he’s strongest already in those totals, Kihuen appeared headed for Congress.
The longtime state lawmaker had support from Sen. Harry Reid and the politically formidable Culinary Union. He’s a Mexican immigrant who will be Nevada’s first Latino congressman.
“I am humbled by this opportunity to serve the people of the 4th District. When my family came to America 28 years ago with nothing, we never imagined the day where I would be elected to the United States House of Representatives. In January I’ll go to Washington to work to improve this country for the people I’ve been elected to represent,” Kihuen said in a statement late Tuesday.
“Congress is broken. For too long we’ve seen partisan differences threaten the ability of working class people to achieve the American Dream. We, like all Americans, dream of a good education, a good-paying job, to own our own car, our own home, that our kids will breathe clean air and grow up on safe streets.”