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KUNR Today: Republican candidates for Nevada governor challenge Lombardo’s conservative credentials

A screenshot of Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo speaking during a gubernatorial primary debate. There are graphics of the KLAS-TV logo and a stylized bar toward the bottom of the image that says, “How do you balance growth and dwindling water supply?”
Courtesy of KLAS-TV
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Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo during a gubernatorial primary debate in Las Vegas on May 25. Lombardo defended his conservative credentials during the debate as his endorsement by former President Donald Trump made him a target for fellow Republicans.

Read or listen to news headlines for Thursday, May 26, 2022.

Republican candidates for Nevada governor challenge Lombardo’s conservative credentials
By Bert Johnson

Candidates endorsed by former President Donald Trump lost by huge margins in Georgia’s Republican primaries this week. In Nevada, his support is making one candidate for governor a target of fellow Republicans.

Trump endorsed Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo in the Republican gubernatorial primary last month, but during a Wednesday debate hosted by Las Vegas news station KLAS-TV, opponents challenged Lombardo’s conservative credentials.

“We refer to him among us as ‘Sanctuary Joe’ for a reason,” said candidate Joey Gilbert.

Lombardo said for all practical purposes, the primary was already over and dismissed their attacks.

“They’re not working, and the reason why they’re not working is because I’m leading in all the polls,” he said. “I have the most money associated with a successful campaign. I have the endorsement of President Donald Trump.”

According to recent polling, Lombardo is leading his closest rival by 20%. Trump’s chosen candidates have seen mixed success in recent primaries, but his endorsement is still a powerful boost.

COVID-19 cases steadily increasing in Washoe County
By Lucia Starbuck

COVID-19 cases in Washoe County have doubled compared to two weeks ago. There have been about 111 cases per day over the last week. Washoe County Health District Officer Kevin Dick estimated the number of cases is actually five to 10 times higher than what they’re reporting.

“We know that most people are using at-home test kits, they’re easy and readily available, and so we’re not getting those results,” Dick said. “We also know that people are not getting very sick; they may have a sore throat for a day or two; they may not end up getting tested.”

Dick also said there is an increased risk for infection due to the rising number of cases. He urges caution if you’re planning to gather with others for Memorial Day weekend or graduations.

Learn more about COVID-19 vaccinations in Nevada, COVID-19 testing, or view the state COVID-19 dashboard.

Lucia Starbuck is a corps member for Report for America, an initiative of the GroundTruth Project.

Deadline to update personal voting info to receive a new mail-in ballot is coming up soon
By Gustavo Sagrero

The deadline for registered voters in Washoe County to update their residential address or party affiliation to receive an updated mail-in ballot is soon coming up.

Monday, May 30, will be the last day those updates can be made. Voters will receive an updated ballot, and the older one will be invalidated. If changes aren’t made before then, voters will not receive a new mail-in ballot.

Some ballots have arrived at homes where the intended voter doesn’t live anymore. To address this, Washoe County elections officials are also asking people to write “not at this address” on the outside of the ballot envelope and send it back to the registrar’s office.

Father of Columbine mass shooting victim ‘isn’t surprised’ by Uvalde
By Robyn Vincent, Mountain West News Bureau

The nation is reeling after the second deadliest school shooting in Texas this week. In the Mountain West, survivors of another horrific school shooting are speaking out. Tom Mauser’s son Daniel was 15 years old when he was murdered in the school library at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado. In the more than 20 years since that massacre, Mauser has become a vocal gun control advocate.

Back in the year 2000, his lobbying helped mandate background checks on all private gun sales in Colorado. The state went on to pass universal background checks more than a decade later. His reaction to the school shooting in Uvalde, Texas, was one of disgust, but he wasn’t surprised.

“In a way, we shouldn’t be that shocked that it’s happening in our schools, because really it is happening there because it’s happening in the rest of society,” Mauser said. “Our young people model us; they model the adults.”

Mauser points out that polling shows the vast majority of Americans support universal background checks at the national level, yet Congress has failed to pass such a measure. He calls that failure “shameful.”

U.S. Sen. Alex Padilla will appear on California’s June primary ballot twice
By Chris Nichols, CapRadio for the California News Hub

U.S. Senator Alex Padilla will appear on California’s June primary ballot twice in separate, but related, contests. Padilla is running in one contest to finish former U.S. Senator Kamala Harris’ term which ends in January. He’s also competing for a new six-year term which would start right after.

Padilla was appointed early last year by Gov. Gavin Newsom to fill Harris’ seat when she was sworn in as Vice President, but the appointment could have faced legal opposition, according to Wesley Hussey, a political science professor at Sacramento State.

“Courts have said if you’re going to have an election, you can’t just have a person occupy the seat forever; there has to be a chance for voters to approve or not approve them,” Hussey said.

To avoid that, Newsom signed a law that requires voters to decide whether an appointed U.S. Senator should serve out the remainder of a term.

Kim Alexander of the California Voter Foundation said Padilla’s double billing could cause confusion.

“I think everybody involved in voter education is going to have to make an extra effort to make sure that voters understand that this is happening and that this isn’t a mistake,” Alexander said.

The top two vote-getters in each Senate contest will move forward to the general election – meaning voters will be asked to decide on these races again in November.

Read more of this story at CapRadio.

California cuts grass watering down as drought dries West
By The Associated Press

Grass in office parks, on college campuses or in some California neighborhoods will go brown this summer. State water officials on Tuesday adopted a ban on watering some green spaces as the drought drags on, though it doesn’t apply to parks, sports fields or people’s lawns.

The vote by the State Water Resources Control Board comes after Gov. Gavin Newsom warned broader, mandatory water restrictions could be coming if Californians don’t step up their conservation. The board is also requiring most of the state’s more than 400 local water districts to adopt stricter conservation measures, regardless of their local supply.

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