Joe Lombardo, the sheriff of Nevada’s most populous county, formally announced Monday his run for the Republican nomination to challenge Democrat Gov. Steve Sisolak in 2022.
“As a governor I will block any attempt to force critical race theory on our public school children,” Lombardo said in his prepared remarks. He also slammed Sisolak for being “the most partisan governor in Nevada history,” and accused the Democrat-controlled legislature of being “focused on protecting their own party and guaranteeing single-party rule.”
Lombardo formally announced his bid for governorship at Rancho High School in North Las Vegas, where he graduated in 1980. In his opening speech, he pledged to support school choice, ban critical race theory in public schools and support trade. Lombardo also promised to “veto any new taxes that legislature sends [his] way.”
In March, it has become clear that Nevada voters will also decide whether tax hikes proposed by the state’s largest teacher’s union should go into effect after legislature failed to take action on them, according to the Associated Press. The proposal would increase Las Vegas’ sales tax to almost 10% and gambling tax rate to 9.75% from the current’s 6.75%.
As the sheriff of Nevada’s most populous county, he pledged support the police and law enforcement and cracking down of crime. “Single-party rule has led to politicians focusing on felons’ rights, prioritizing criminals over victims and handcuffing the police,” Lombardo claimed in his speech. “While Portland, Seattle and Baltimore gave in to rioters, looters and vandalism, we instituted a zero-tolerance policy for violence,” he added while also expressing support for the right to peacefully protest. (RELATED: Homicides Have Skyrocketed In These Six Democratic Cities. Black People Are Disproportionately The Victims, Data Shows)
“Nevada deserves a leader who doesn’t put the rights of criminals over victims, doesn’t hold the opinions of donors higher than those of middle-class families, and a doesn’t believe our Constitutional rights are ever up for partisan negotiation,” Lombardo said in a subsequent statement obtained by the Fox News.
Lombardo isn’t the only candidate seeking the Republican nomination.
John Lee, Mayor of North Las Vegas, already announced his candidacy after switching parties to the GOP last month, according to The Nevada Independent. Rep. Mark Amodei and former Senator Dean Heller are also considering joining the race, Las Vegas Review-Journal reports.
Lombardo has been the sheriff of Clark County since 2015 after serving with the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department for over 25 years. He is a graduate of the University of Las Vegas and he previously served in the U.S. Army and National Guard.
Nevada has been a traditional Democratic-leaning battleground state for presidential politics. President Joe Biden won the state in 2020 by a thin margin of approximately 33,000 votes, while former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton won by about 27,000 votes in 2016.
Sisolak, the state’s current governor, was elected in 2018 after defeating former state’s Attorney General Adam Laxalt in a close race and becoming Nevada’s first Democratic governor since 1999.