Nevada State Senate elections, 2014

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2012
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Nevada State Senate elections, 2014

Majority controlQualifications
List of candidates
District 2District 8District 9District 10District 12District 13District 14District 16District 17District 20District 21
State Legislative Election Results

Nevada State Senate2014 Nevada House Elections
BattlegroundRace.jpg

The battle for the Nevada State Senate hinged on one seat. That seat was District 9, in a race that saw Becky Harris (R) defeat incumbent Justin Jones (D). Jones won it by only 301 votes in 2012 after Elizabeth Halseth (R) resigned halfway through her term.[1][2]

There were only 21 seats in the Senate, with the Democratic Party losing its slight majority to the Republican Party.

Republicans hoped that Jones' vote in favor of requiring background checks for private gun sales would sway voters to pick Harris.[3]

Harris said she did not expect to receive national attention, and decided to run because people encouraged her to do so. She said:

I had no idea when I got into this race that it would be the kind of race where national politicians are looking at what happens in the Nevada State Legislature.[4]

—Becky Harris, [1]

Another key race was the one for District 8, which Republicans needed to keep in order to win a majority. Incumbent Barbara Cegavske (R), who was termed out, won the election for Nevada Secretary of State. The district was seen as a Democratic lean, but Assemblywoman Marilyn Dondero Loop (D) was defeated by Patricia Farley (R).[5]

The Nevada State Senate was one of 20 state legislative chambers noted by Ballotpedia staff as being a battleground chamber. The Nevada Senate had a difference in partisan balance between Democrats and Republicans of one seat, which amounted to 9 percent of the seats up for election in 2014. Two major party candidates ran for seven, or about 64 percent, of the 11 seats up for election. In 2012, a total of five districts were competitive, with a margin of victory was 5 percent or less.

Elections for the office of Nevada State Senate took place in 2014. A primary election took place on June 10, 2014. The general election was held on November 4, 2014. The signature-filing deadline for candidates wishing to run in this election was March 14, 2014.

Following the general election, the Republican Party wrested majority control of the Nevada State Senate from the Democratic Party. The Democrats held 11 seats heading into the general election, but emerged with only 10. The Republicans saw the reverse occur, increasing their seats from 10 to 11.

Incumbents retiring

One incumbent, Barbara Cegavske (R) in District 8, did not seek re-election due to term limits and won the election for Nevada Secretary of State.

Majority control

See also: Partisan composition of state senates

Heading into the November 4 election, the Democratic Party held the majority in the Nevada State Senate but lost it in a reversal to the Republican Party:

Nevada State Senate
Party As of November 3, 2014 After November 4, 2014
     Democratic Party 11 10
     Republican Party 10 11
Total 21 21

Qualifications

To be eligible to serve in the Nevada State Senate, a candidate must be:[6]

  • A U.S. citizen at the time of filing
  • 21 years old at the filing deadline time
  • A one-year resident of Nevada preceding the election
  • A resident for 30 days of the senate district from which elected at the filing deadline time
  • A qualified election. A qualified voter is someone who is:
* A U.S. citizen
* A resident of Nevada for at least 6 months prior to the next election, and 30 days in the district or county
* At least 18 years old by the next election
2014 Competitiveness Overview
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Primary competition (state comparison)
Incumbents defeatedVictorious challengers
Primary competitiveness
Major party challengers (state comparison)
Candidates with no challenges at all in 2014
Open seats (state comparisons)
Impact of term limits on # of open seats
Long-serving senatorsLong-serving reps
Star bookmark.png   Chart Comparing 2014 Results   Star bookmark.png
Chart Comparing 2014 ResultsComparisons Between Years
Competitiveness IndexAbsolute Index
2014 State Legislative Elections
State legislative incumbent turnover in 2014
Competitiveness Studies from Other Years
200720092010201120122013

Competitiveness

Candidates unopposed by a major party

In four (36.36%) of the 11 senate seats up for election, there was only one major party candidate running for election. Two Democrats and two Republicans were guaranteed election in November barring unforeseen circumstances.

Two major party candidates faced off in the general election in seven (63.63%) of the 11 districts up for election. One of those seats, District 9, held a competitive election in 2012 with a margin of victory ranging from zero to five percent. Incumbent Justin Jones (D) was defeated by Becky Harris (R), the winner of a four-way primary. Jones won by a margin of victory of one point in 2012.

Primary challenges

Two incumbents faced primary competition on June 10. One incumbent did not seek re-election in 2014 and another eight incumbents advanced past the primary without opposition. The state senators that faced primary competition included:

Context

A Ballotpedia analysis of partisan balance between 1992 and 2013 shows that Democrats held the Senate for the final six years while Republicans had the majority for the first 16 years.[7]

The Nevada State Senate districts targeted by Democrats and Republicans were District 8, District 9 and District 20. In this scenario, if the GOP won the open seat in District 8, defeated Democratic incumbent Justin Jones in District 9 and maintained control of District 20, Republicans would regain control of the chamber, 11 seats to 10.[5] The Republican Legislative Campaign Committee (RLCC) announced in July that it would be targeting both the Nevada State Senate and Nevada State Assembly. The organization put Nevada on its list of "Sweet 16 targets" to flip legislative control to Republican. The RLCC did not specify how much money would be spent in Nevada or elsewhere, but the amount was expected to be substantial.[8]

Republicans were ultimately doubly successful, not only capturing the Senate but pulling off a near-exact reversal of power in the Assembly.

Races to Watch

  • District 8: Democrats had the opportunity to win District 8, where incumbent Barbara Cegavske (R) was termed out and running for Nevada Secretary of State. Assemblywoman Marilyn Dondero Loop (D) was defeated by Patricia Farley (R) in the general election. Farley and Dondero Loop both defeated primary challengers on June 10.[5] Farley followed other Republican candidates and did not meet her opponent in a debate.[9] The race was highly competitive since there were over 11,824 nonpartisan voters registered in the district and Republicans only held a party registration advantage of 192. In January, Democrats had a more than 300-voter registration edge in the district.[10][9][11] Campaign finance reports in late October showed that Dondero Loop had raised $337,000 and spent $247,000 in her race, compared to Farley who had raised $284,000 and spent $270,000.[10]
  • District 9: Incumbent Justin Jones (D) ran unopposed in the Democratic primary, but was defeated by attorney Becky Harris (R) in the general election. Jones won election in 2012 by only 301 votes. In 2013, Jones angered many gun-rights conservatives during his first year in office, when he pushed for gun control legislation. The Senate Republican caucus endorsed Harris, who defeated Ron Quilang, Vick Gill and David Schoen in the June 10 Republican primary.[5][12] Harris declared that she would not be participating in a debate with Jones. The race was highly competitive since there were over 12,500 nonpartisan voters registered in the district, but Democrats held a party registration advantage of about 3,400.[11] Campaign reports filed in October showed that Jones raised almost $580,000 and spent $600,000. In comparison, Harris only raised $300,000 and spent $324,000.[10]
  • District 20: Incumbent Michael Roberson (R) defeated Teresa Lowry (D) in the general election.[8] In 2010, Roberson defeated his opponent by over 2,500 votes. Roberson canceled a scheduled TV debate with Lowry and refused to schedule others because "very few voters watch these debates."[13] Republicans had a narrow registration edge, "with 23,777 Republicans, 23,247 Democrats and 12,346 nonpartisans" registered in the district. According to campaign finance reports filed in October, Roberson raised $419,000 and spent $447,000, while Lowry only raised $234,000 and spent $190,000.[10]

List of candidates

District 2

Democratic Party June 10 Democratic primary:
  • Mo Denis Approveda - Incumbent Denis first assumed office in 2011.
Republican Party June 10 Republican primary:
  • No candidates filed.
Constitution Party June 10 Independent American primary:

November 4 General election candidates:

Candidate ballot accecss
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Democratic Party Mo Denis: 5,683 Green check mark transparent.png
Constitution Party Louis Baker: 1,758

District 8

Note: Incumbent Barbara Cegavske (R), who did not seek re-election due to term limits, won the election for Secretary of State.

Democratic Party June 10 Democratic primary:
Republican Party June 10 Republican primary:
Constitution Party June 10 Independent American primary:

November 4 General election candidates:

Democratic Party Marilyn Dondero Loop: 11,092
Republican Party Patricia Farley: 16,205 Green check mark transparent.png
Constitution Party Jon Kamerath: 1,119

District 9

Democratic Party June 10 Democratic primary:
  • Justin Jones Approveda - Incumbent Justin Jones first assumed office in 2013.
Republican Party June 10 Republican primary:

November 4 General election candidates:

Democratic Party Justin Jones: 10,116
Republican Party Becky Harris: 12,475 Green check mark transparent.png

District 10

Democratic Party June 10 Democratic primary:
  • Ruben Kihuen Approveda - Incumbent Kihuen first assumed office in 2011.
Republican Party June 10 Republican primary:
  • No candidates filed.
Libertarian Party June 10 Libertarian primary:

November 4 General election candidates:

Democratic Party Ruben Kihuen: 8,143 Green check mark transparent.png
Libertarian Party Ed Uehling: 4,409

District 12

Democratic Party June 10 Democratic primary:
  • No candidates filed.
Republican Party June 10 Republican primary:
  • Joseph Hardy Approveda - Incumbent Hardy first assumed office in 2011.

November 4 General election candidates:

Republican Party Joseph Hardy: 28,657 Green check mark transparent.png

District 13

Democratic Party June 10 Democratic primary:
  • Debbie Smith Approveda - Incumbent Smith first assumed office in 2013.
Republican Party June 10 Republican primary:
Constitution Party June 10 Independent American primary:

Note: Diana Leung Squillante withdrew before the primary.

November 4 General election candidates:

Democratic Party Debbie Smith: 12,943 Green check mark transparent.png
Republican Party Thomas Koziol: 8,432

District 14

Democratic Party June 10 Democratic primary:
Republican Party June 10 Republican primary:
  • Don Gustavson Approveda - Incumbent Gustavson first assumed office in 2013.

November 4 General election candidates:

Democratic Party Joe Hunt: 10,690
Republican Party Don Gustavson: 24,994 Green check mark transparent.png

District 16

Democratic Party June 10 Democratic primary:
Republican Party June 10 Republican primary:
Constitution Party June 10 Independent American primary:

November 4 General election candidates:

Democratic Party Michael Kelley: 12,021
Republican Party Ben Kieckhefer: 27,225 Green check mark transparent.png
Constitution Party John Everhart: 2,691

District 17

Democratic Party June 10 Democratic primary:
  • No candidates filed.
Republican Party June 10 Republican primary:

November 4 General election candidates:

Republican Party James Settelmeyer: 35,979 Green check mark transparent.png

District 20

Democratic Party June 10 Democratic primary:
Republican Party June 10 Republican primary:

November 4 General election candidates:

Democratic Party Teresa Lowry: 10,959
Republican Party Michael Roberson: 16,715 Green check mark transparent.png

District 21

Democratic Party June 10 Democratic primary:
  • Mark Manendo Approveda - Incumbent Manendo first assumed office in 2011.
Republican Party June 10 Republican primary:

November 4 General election candidates:

Democratic Party Mark Manendo: 9,597 Green check mark transparent.png
Republican Party Ron McGinnis: 8,328

See also

External links

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References