DECISION 2018: Democrats likely to keep control in Nevada Senate, Assembly

DECISION 2018: Democrats likely to keep control in Nevada Senate, Assembly

Primary election day is exactly two weeks away, and while you may be focused on high-profile races like the contentious race for Nevada governor, there's also important races at the state legislature level.


In 2017, Senate Democrats enjoyed a 12-9 advantage, if you count Independent Patricia Farley as a Democrat because she primarily caucused and voted with them.

Beginning in late 2017, Republicans filed petitions to recall Democratic Senators Joyce Woodhouse and Nicole Cannizzaro.

The effort has since failed, and UNR political science chair Eric Herzik called the effort "an unmitigated disaster" that essentially solidifies Democrats' hold on the state Senate.

"I think that's kind of a perversion of the electoral process and I think many Nevadans saw it that way," Herzik said.

At most, Herzik predicted one seat could flip parties, but he felt confident the Democrats will keep or grow their advantage in the upper house.

Assuming Democratic incumbents like Julia Ratti hold their seats, the Democrats already have 10 spots secured in the 21-seat chamber.

Democrats will almost certainly retain the seat previously held by Mark Manendo, who resigned amid a sexual harassment investigation.

Democrats enjoy a 22 percent voter registration advantage in that district, and Assemblyman James Ohrenschall is running for that seat.

Up north, Republican Ben Kieckhefer has two challengers, but Herzik predicts he's safe.

Republican Don Gustavson is retiring, but longtime Assemblyman Ira Hansen is running there, and Herzik predicts he'll win in the 'overwhelmingly' Republican district.

State Senate District 13

Julia Ratti - Democratic
Charlene Y. Young - Independent American Party

State Senate District 14

Wendy Boszak - Democratic
Ira Hansen - Republican
Thomas Kennedy - No Political Party

State Senate District 16

Tina Davis-Hersey - Democratic
Ben Kieckhefer - Republican
Gary R. Schmidt - Republican
John Wagner - Independent American Party


If the past is any indication, the already very blue state Assembly should remain blue, Herzik said.

Republicans have only had an advantage in the lower house twice in the last 45 years.

In the 2017 legislative session, Nevada Democrats controlled the state Assembly with a 27-15 advantage, an advantage Herzik said they will almost certainly keep.

In Northern Nevada, perhaps the most contentious primary is in Assembly District 24, formerly held by Democrat Amber Joiner. The seat will remain in Democratic control, since four Democrats and zero Republicans are running.

Incumbent Republicans Jill Tolles and Lisa Krasner are more than likely safe, Herzik said.

Incumbent Democrats Teresa Benitez-Thompson and Mike Sprinkle will keep their seats since they're running unopposed.

Herzik said he's specifically watching the race for Assembly District 31, which pits incumbent Democrat Skip Daly against former Republican Assemblywoman Jill Dickman.

That race is a rematch —Daly defeated Dickman by just 36 votes in 2016.

Two Republicans are running for the seat vacated by Republican Ira Hansen, including his wife Alexis.

Herzik predicted the seat would remain in Republican control, since the district is 'overwhelmingly' Republican.

Carson City Republican Al Kramer does have a Democratic challenger, but he's likely safe too, Herzik said.

State Assembly District 24

Edward Coleman - Democratic
Deonne Contine - Democratic
Sarah Peters - Democratic
Tom Stewart - Democratic

State Assembly District 25

Gregory John Shorts - Democratic
Jill Tolles - Republican

State Assembly District 26

June Joseph - Democratic
Lisa Krasner - Republican

State Assembly District 27

Teresa Benitez-Thompson - Democratic

State Assembly District 30

Michael Sprinkle - Democratic

State Assembly District 31

Richard Daly - Democratic
Jill Dickman - Republican

State Assembly District 32

Tom Fransway - Republican
Alexis M. Hansen - Republican
Patty Povilaitis - Democratic

State Assembly District 40

Al Kramer - Republican
Autumn Zemke - Democratic

close video ad
Unmutetoggle ad audio on off