Primary Eve: Sisolak employs the mother-of-all-backdrops

Clark County Commissioner Steve Sisolak thanks the Vegas Strong Resiliency Center?s Boston Marathon Team for their support of the Vegas Strong Resiliency Center and wishes them well in the upcoming Boston Marathon. Thursday, April 5, 2018. CREDIT: Glenn Pinkerton/Las Vegas News Bureau

They make campaign commercials out of this stuff.

“Sisolak got your back,” shouted dozens of union workers as we stood in full sunlight, on what might be the 50-yard line.

“No better guy to pull for than Steve Sisolak. He keeps us working, you know,” said one guy.

With an under construction stadium all around him, Steve Sisolak, Democratic candidate for Governor, doesn't want you to forget it. His campaign event Monday morning took TV cameras and cheering construction workers into the “bowl” of the of the new home of the Raiders and UNLV Rebels.

Among the supporting cast: the most vocal Union supporting the project. Laborers Local 872.

Sisolak backed the boost in the room tax that makes this possible.

His Democratic primary opponent, Clark County Commissioner Chris Giunchigliani, did not. So I asked Sisolak, as we stood in hardhats and construction vests, why he’s spending part of his primary-eve here.

“Well, she was an opponent of the jobs. I mean, she can talk all she wants about public funding; she opposed some 30 thousand construction jobs between the convention center, and this,” Sisolak told me.

A couple of hours later, I met her, a former teacher, at the school she taught at 28 years ago. Giunchigliani tells me she’s not against jobs.

“I never had a problem building a stadium. I just had a problem with the 750 million public subsidy to NFL millionaires when our schools are underfunded,” Giunchiglinani says.

The stadium has long-since sailed and its supporters say the project, once finished, will funnel millions in tax revenue to schools. But, it’s a debate that simmers and still resonates in the Democratic race for Governor, the most-hotly contested contest of this primary cycle, dominating airwaves with negative attack ads.

Republicans too, have their own contest for Governor, a more sedate affair, in contrast, featuring main candidates Attorney General Adam Laxalt, State Treasurer Dan Schwartz and businessman Jared Fisher.

There are other contests tomorrow: for Congress, for the school board, and for sheriff, to name a few.

In the non-partisan races, if someone gets more than 50 percent, they win.

In the two weeks of early voting, more than 101 thousand locals voted early, 40 thousand more than the last midterm in 2014.

Tomorrow, all eyes will be on the Democrats who want to be governor. It's the battle of the candidates and the battle of the endorsements.

Yesterday, Hillary Clinton endorsed Giunchigliani.

“You know, that was unexpected but more than welcome because Hillary knows Nevada. She won Nevada,” Giunchigliani says.

“I'll take Harry Reid and Dina Titus over Hillary Clinton any day of the week,” Sisolak told me, mentioning endorsements by Nevada’s former US Senator and its senior Democratic Congresswoman.

Tuesday features the rollout of Clark County’s new voting systems, when it replaces precincts with 172 “vote centers”, allowing voters to cast ballots anywhere in Clark County.

For a list of vote center locations, go to our homepage at

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