Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) was projected to lose reelection in the race for the Nevada governor’s mansion, making his Republican challenger, Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo, the first candidate to knock out a Democratic incumbent in a gubernatorial race this cycle.
The Associated Press called the race for Lombardo shortly before 9 p.m. ET. Sisolak had conceded in a statement before the call was made.
“While votes are still coming in — and we need every ballot tallied and every voice heard — it appears we will fall a percentage point or so short of winning,” he said.
Lombardo had hammered Sisolak over crime during the fiercely fought race, echoing a strategy used by Republicans across the country in the lead-up to Nov. 8.
Additionally, the Republican seized on concerns over skyrocketing inflation and the possibility of a major recession. He was endorsed by former President Trump, who campaigned for him and GOP Senate candidate Adam Laxalt in Las Vegas over the summer.
Lombardo’s win could end up being the biggest bright spot for his party in the Silver State.
Laxalt currently holds a slim lead over Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, though her allies expect her to overtake him as more votes come in. Meanwhile, three Democratic House incumbents won their respective races in Nevada, while in the secretary of state race, GOP candidate Jim Marchant was expected to lose to Democrat Cisco Aguilar.