The 2018 Nevada primary is on the heals of voters. Among the seats that need to be filled are the top jobs in the Nevada executive branch.

  • Lieutenant Governor
  • Attorney General
  • Secretary of State
  • Treasurer
  • Controller

In 2014, Republicans swept these seats with an historically low voter turnout. Democrats are expecting a blue wave in this November’s election.

However, there are not many competitive races in the primaries. When there is a name that is established, the recognition could be enough to carry politicians straight through, even with low turnout.

Lieutenant Governor

The Nevada Lieutenant Governor has few constitutional responsibilities compared to some other states. In Nevada, the position requires the person be in charge of tourism through the Nevada Commission on Tourism. Sometimes the person will preside over senate floor sessions, but they do not do much more than that.

Regardless of the expectations, the lieutenant governor is second in command over the executive branch, much like the vice president of the United States. This position could be viewed as a stepping stone to the Governor’s Mansion. However, in the modern electoral era, only two lieutenant governors have become governor. They were Republican Paul Laxalt in 1967, and Democrat Bob Miller in 1989.

The contest for lieutenant governor has become a two-member race. On the Republican side, there is Senate Minority Leader Michael Roberson from Las Vegas and on the Democrat side, former treasurer Kate Marshall.

Both candidates are strong and have had eight years each in office. This is more than enough time for them to have accumulated political baggage.

Marshall has lost two elections since 2011 and Roberson has recently adopted some strong position that may not set well with voters. This will be an interesting race to watch.

Attorney General

The attorney general is the top law officer of Nevada. The duties required for this position vary depending on the person’s priorities and the legal battles Nevada incurs. The current Attorney General Laxalt has addressed the backlog of rape kits and signed onto national lawsuits that challenge liberal laws.

The race for attorney general is between to familiar faces in Carson City. Republican Deputy Attorney General We Duncan and Senate Minority Leader Democrat Aaron Ford. Duncan has received support from the Nevada Sheriff’s Office.

Both of these candidates have backgrounds in law, but it has been predicted by Reno Public Radio’s Paul Boger that they will both be caught up in the politics of the governor’s race.

Secretary of State

The secretary of state is the executive branch’s administrative positions. This requires the handling of business licenses and overseeing elections.

Incumbent Republican Barbara Cegavske will most likely take on Democrat Nelson Araujo, who is a two-term assemblyman from Las Vegas. There is a possibility for a deeply partisan election. Cegavske stirred up voter-fraud controversy last year. Due to the responsibility of the secretary of state, there is a likelihood this contest will spark some fireworks, according to Boger.


The Nevada state treasurer handles the state’s debts and investments. The treasurer also handles the disbursements of educational money such as the prepaid tuition program and the Millennium Scholarship.

Zach Conine is running unopposed, so there will not be a Democratic primary.

On the Republican side, there is former councilman for Vegas City, Bob Beers and Derek Uehara. He tried to win the Henderson City seat in 2015 and failed.


The controller is the auditor for the state and acts as a chief financial officer would in the private sector. The controller does the accounting, collects debts and checks to ensure the budgets and fiscal policy are in agreement with the state and federal constitutions.

The current controller is Republican Ron Knecht. He won a comfortable in 2014 and has stayed true to his conservative perspectives. He is running against Democrat Catherine Byrne, a CPA and an unknown candidate.

By Jeanette Smith


KUNR: Election 2018: A Look At The Race For Nevada’s Executive Branch

Image Courtesy of Ryan Basilio’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License