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Thousands more early vote; Primary nears

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Every place News 3 checked, it was steady.

"You know, you want to get somebody in there that's obviously gonna do a good job for the State of Nevada," said early voter John Holliday, a Republican, whom I met this week at Galleria Mall. He had just finished voting at one of the dozens of early voting sites in Clark County.

He was not alone. When early voting closed Friday evening, 101,238 Clark County residents had voted, easily surpassing the last midterm primary in 2014, when nearly 62,000 turned out early. This year, another 13,697 have also sent in mail or absentee ballots. Democrats, who have a registration edge in Clark County, outnumbered Republicans this year in early voting 54,246 to 36,355.

Of all the contests, none is more contested than the Democratic primary for governor: a slugfest between two Clark County commissioners.

Chris Giunchigliani and Steve Sisolak were campaigning in Reno on Friday.

"I have 1,100 volunteers out statewide. I've been going door-to-door myself," Giunchigliani said while she was at a Reno-area food bank.

Sisolak's Friday featured several stops, including a tour of a local non-profit that helps homeless teens.

"Getting our message out to the community, and that's what our goal has been - to get our message out," Sisolak told a reporter.

One poll this spring had Sisolak up, but another more recent poll claims it's a dead heat.

"I would have said Sisolak two minutes ago. I would have said Giunchigliani one minute ago," says UNLV Associate Professor of History Michael Green, who thinks Tuesday’s Democratic contest for the nomination could be close.

There are many races of consequence Tuesday: Republicans have their own eight-candidate primary for governor, featuring Attorney General Adam Laxalt, state Treasurer Dan Schwartz and businessman Jared Fisher.

We'll find out if Republican Danny Tarkanian clears a nine-person GOP field in the race for Congressional District 3.

We'll find out if two former Congressmen emerge to face each other in November in Congressional District 4: Republican Cresent Hardy and Democrat Steven Horsford.

Joe Lombardo could win re-election Tuesday night for Clark County sheriff if he gets more than 50 percent of the vote in a five-person field.

"It is hard to defeat an incumbent sheriff," says UNLV’s Green. "I think there is, for all of the controversies that we have seen, kind of an automatic respect for what the Sheriff and police have to deal with."

“The race is going really well,” says Lombardo’s biggest competition, former North Las Vegas officer Tim Bedwell. “I’m campaigning on the idea of change. I believe there needs to be change at Metro."

Both Bedwell and the Lombardo campaign say some residents in North Las Vegas and Henderson, which have their own police forces, aren't aware they can vote in that nonpartisan race.

"We are on your ballot. Sheriff is sheriff everywhere in the county, and it doesn’t matter what your party affiliation is – we’re on everyone’s ballot. Please come out in this primary and vote," Bedwell says.

Another race to watch is County Commission District E, where term-limited State Senator Tick Segerblom, D-Clark County, is trying to win the seat of outgoing Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani.

Segerblom, an opponent of the deal to build a Raiders Stadium, is facing a primary challenge from fellow Democrat Marco Hernandez, a vice president at Laborers Local 872. That union has been one of the most vocal in favor of the project, financed in part with $750 million in public money. Stadium supporters say the project will create thousands of jobs.

The primary is Tuesday June 12. Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., and voters can cast their ballots at any of the 172 vote centers in Clark County.

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