Dems take top NV races

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The Latest on Tuesday's midterm election in Nevada (all times local):

8:20 a.m.

Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval is congratulating his successor, Democrat Steve Sisolak, on his win in Tuesday's election.

Sandoval, a Republican, said in a statement Wednesday that he looks forward to working with Sisolak and that he and his staff are available to Sisolak and his transition team.

Sisolak, the Clark County Commission chair, will be Nevada's first Democratic governor since 1999. He defeated state Attorney General Adam Laxalt, the Republican nominee, in a tight race.

Sandoval is term-limited.

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4:28 a.m.

Voters in Reno have reelected Mayor Hillary Schieve for her second 4-year-term.

Washoe County voters have also named a new Sheriff. Darin Balaam will take over for current Sheriff Chuck Allen in January.
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1:51 a.m.

Voters say brothels can stay in one northern Nevada county where recently deceased reality TV star-turned-political candidate Dennis Hof owned all four legal bordellos.

The Tuesday advisory vote came after Lyon County commissioners put the question to residents of the county of about 54,000 people east of the state capital, Carson City.

The campaign originated with claims that brothel workers are exploited. It was overshadowed by Hof's Oct. 16 death. His brothels in Lyon County remain open under a permit granted in 2011 to Suzette Cole.

Hof owned six legal brothels in Lyon and Nye counties. Prostitution is legal in seven rural counties. It is illegal Las Vegas and Reno.

Hof's Moonlite Bunny Ranch was featured in the HBO series "Cathouse." It opened in Lyon County in 1955.
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1:43 a.m.

A Nevada brothel owner and reality TV star who died last month after fashioning himself as a Donald Trump-style Republican candidate has won a heavily GOP state legislative district.

Dennis Hof defeated Democratic educator Lesia Romanov on Tuesday in the race for Nevada's 36th Assembly District, which includes rural communities and large stretches of desert in the southern part of the state. County officials will appoint a Republican to take his place in the seat.

Hof was found dead Oct. 16 after a weekend of parties celebrating his 72nd birthday. Officials are still determining his cause of death, but they don't suspect foul play.

Hof owned a handful of brothels in Nevada, the only state that allows them to legally operate.

Hof starred in the HBO adult reality series "Cathouse" and wrote a book titled "The Art of the Pimp," akin to Trump's book "The Art of the Deal."
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1:35 a.m.

Two women have won seats on the Nevada Supreme Court, including one with no opposition.

A third has been retained after her appointment to the seven-member bench two years ago.

Clark County District Judge Elissa Cadish defeated State Court of Appeals Judge Jerry Tao, and current Justice Lidia Stiglich held off Clark County Family Court Judge Mathew Harter in the two contested elections on Tuesday.

Nevada Court of Appeals Judge Abbi Silver will join them on the state high court in January.

Cadish has been a state court judge since 2007, and was nominated by President Barack Obama in 2012 for a seat on the U.S. District Court bench in Nevada. She withdrew her nomination in 2013.

Tao is a former state court judge who was appointed in 2014 to the newly created state Court of Appeals.

Cadish will replace retiring Justice Michael Cherry.

Silver ran unopposed to replace retiring Justice Michael Douglas.
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1:07 a.m.

Nevada voters have chosen Las Vegas-area county commissioner Steve Sisolak as the state's first Democratic governor in two decades.

Sisolak defeated state Attorney General Adam Laxalt early Wednesday in a tight race that drew millions in outside spending and was considered a high-stakes battle for both parties. Laxalt conceded the race late Tuesday.

The 64-year-old Sisolak repeatedly campaigned on a pledge to stand up to President Donald Trump, who backed Laxalt.

Sisolak chairs the Clark County Commission, which oversees the Las Vegas Strip and surrounding areas. He rose to prominence following the 2017 mass shooting on the Strip, starting an online fundraiser that amassed millions for victims.

Nevada's gubernatorial race was a top priority for Democrats looking to flip control of governors' mansions across the country Tuesday.

Popular and moderate Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval is term-limited.
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12:50 a.m.

Nevadans have passed a measure granting tax exemption for prescription medical equipment such as oxygen tanks, sleep apnea monitors, wheelchairs and hospital beds.

Nearly three-fourths of voters gave the measure initial approval in 2016. But as a constitutional amendment, it required a second statewide vote, which it received on Tuesday.

Supporters called taxes on medical equipment unfair to sick, injured or dying Nevadans who pay directly or through higher insurance premiums.

Opponents argued that basic budget principles mean the state can't afford giveaways and that public services will be hurt by lost tax revenue.

The measure had financial backing from Bennett Medical Services, a Reno company with products that will be exempt from taxes. Company owner Douglas Bennett launched the initiative after the idea failed in the state Legislature.

12:40 a.m.

Nevada has decided to quit taxing feminine hygiene products such as tampons and sanitary napkins.

Question 2 passed as a voter-approved tax measure Tuesday after near-unanimous approval by the 2017 state Legislature.

Proponents argued feminine hygiene products are a medical necessity and that collecting sales and use taxes on them amounts to gender discrimination. They noted nine states and the District of Columbia exempt the products from so-called "Pink Taxes."

Opponents said most states tax the products.

They pointed to estimates that Nevada state and local governments, including schools, could lose up to $1.3 million in revenue per year.

Officially, the measure amends the state's 1955 tax law for 10 years, until the end of 2028.
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12:29 a.m.

Nevada voters have approved making voter registration automatic when a person applies for a driver's license or identification card.

Question 5 passed Tuesday to change what amounted to an opt-in system at the state Department of Motor Vehicles to an opt-out rule. That means a person will have to check a box to decline voter registration.

If a person is already registered to vote, his or her voter registration information will be automatically updated.

A 2016 petition drive led the Legislature to approve the law, with Democrats and Republicans voting on party lines.

Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval vetoed it, saying voters should decide for themselves whether to register, not the government.

Proponents including the American Civil Liberties Union of Nevada spent about $10 million on the campaign.
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12:25 a.m.

Nevadans have advanced an initiative to speed the pace and raise the bar on the amount of electricity generated from renewable energy sources in one of the nation's sunniest states.

Question 6 won initial approval Tuesday but must pass again in 2020 to take effect. It aims to amend the state constitution to raise the minimum amount of power that electric utilities generate or acquire from solar, wind or geothermal sources to 50 percent in 2030.

The current benchmark is 25 percent by 2025. The state's dominant electric utility, NV Energy, says it already has a 24 percent clean-energy portfolio.

Proponents have been underwritten by California billionaire Democratic activist Tom Steyer, founder of the group NextGen Climate Action.

Opponents say free-market forces and the Legislature should set the state standard.
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12:18 a.m.

Democrat Jacky Rosen has defeated incumbent Republican Dean Heller in a hard-fought battle for a U.S. Senate seat in Nevada, giving Democrats a key pickup in the chamber.

Rosen on Tuesday ousted Heller, who has been in office since he was appointed to fill a vacancy in 2011.

Heller was considered the most vulnerable Republican running for re-election to the U.S. Senate this year as the only one seeking another term in a state that Hillary Clinton won in 2016. He conceded earlier in the night.

Heller was once a critic of President Donald Trump, but the two have become allies. Rosen painted Heller as a rubber stamp for the president and counted on backlash to Trump to help her oust the incumbent.

Rosen's win puts Nevada with half a dozen other states represented by U.S. senators who are both female. Nevada's other senator is Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto.
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12:14 a.m.

Nevada voters have approved a ballot measure to embed crime victims' rights in the state constitution.

Question 1 passed on Tuesday. It was described by backers as Marsy's Law for Nevada.

The name refers to a 2008 law enacted by voters in California with support from billionaire Henry Nicholas in memory of his slain sister, Marsalee "Marsy" Nicholas. She was killed by her ex-boyfriend in 1983.

The Nevada measure was approved by the state Legislature in 2015 and 2017. It expands the definition of a victim and lists 16 rights including privacy, protection from a defendant, refusal of interview or deposition requests without a court order, notice of court and parole hearings and "full and timely restitution."

Opponents called the proposal redundant, costly and vague.
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12:10 a.m.

Nevada voters have rejected a hotly contested and expensive ballot initiative that backers characterized as open-market energy choice, while opponents led by the state's dominant electric utility said would lead to dangerous deregulation.

The failure of Question 3 on Tuesday was a victory for utility company NV Energy and a defeat for proponents led by casino company Las Vegas Sands and data storage firm Switch.

Nearly $100 million was spent on the constitutional amendment after nearly three-fourths of voters first approved it in 2016.

Proponents wanted the Legislature to strip NV Energy of its electricity production and sales monopoly, and to create a "competitive retail energy market" by July 2023.

Opponents argued deregulation would drive up rates. The Public Utilities Commission said ratepayers could be liable for billions in costs.
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12:01 a.m.

Republican Dean Heller says he takes the blame for his loss to Democrat Jacky Rosen in Nevada's U.S. Senate race.

Heller said in a concession speech in Las Vegas that Rosen and the Democratic Party had a great race up and a "blue wave" all down the ballot in Nevada.

He says his party is going to have to "come back together" and decide how it's going to go forward.

The senator says it's the first time he's had to call his opponent and make a concession call in three decades.

He cited the 2017 GOP tax law he helped write and the confirmation of judges to the U.S. Supreme Court as "generational changes" he was proud of achieving while in office.
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11:59 p.m.

Republican Adam Laxalt has conceded Nevada governor's race to Democrat Steve Sisolak.

The Associated Press has not called race, which has drawn millions in outside spending and was considered a high-stakes battle for both parties.

The 64-year-old Sisolak repeatedly campaigned on a pledge to stand up to President Donald Trump, who backed Laxalt.

Sisolak chairs the Clark County Commission, which oversees the Las Vegas Strip and surrounding areas. He rose to prominence following the 2017 mass shooting on the Strip, starting an online fundraiser that amassed millions for victims.

Nevada's gubernatorial race was considered a top priority for Democrats looking to flip control of governors' mansions across the country Tuesday.

Popular and moderate Republican Gov. Brian Sandoval is term-limited.
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11:54 a.m.

Republican Sen. Dean Heller has conceded to Democratic Rep. Jacky Rosen in a battleground race for U.S. Senate in Nevada.

The Associated Press has not yet called the race.

Heller has been in office since he was appointed to fill a vacancy in 2011.

He was considered the most vulnerable Republican running for re-election to the U.S. Senate this year as the only one seeking another term in a state that Hillary Clinton won in 2016.

Heller was once a critic of President Donald Trump, but the two have become allies. Rosen painted Heller as a rubber stamp for the president and counted on backlash to Trump to help her oust the incumbent.

Rosen's win puts Nevada with half a dozen other states represented by U.S. senators who are both female. Nevada's other senator is Democrat Catherine Cortez Masto.
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11:45 p.m.

Nevada Republican Rep. Mark Amodei has won again in a mostly rural district that no Democrat has ever represented.

Democratic challenger Clinton Koble picked up several labor endorsements but was outspent in the campaign by a 9-to-1 margin.

The 60-year-old Amodei is a member of the powerful House Appropriations Committee.

It's the safest GOP seat in the western battleground state where two open seats are up for grabs.

Amodei has represented the district created in 1982 since he won a special election in 2011. Last time, he claimed 58 percent of the vote in the district that covers most of northern Nevada including Reno and Carson City.

A Carson City native, Amodei is the former chairman of the Nevada Republican Party who served in the Legislature for 13 years.

Koble is an Obama-era appointee to the U.S. Agriculture Department.
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11:31 p.m.

Democrat Steven Horsford has defeated Republican and fellow former Congressman Cresent Hardy in the battle for an open congressional seat that was considered key to Democrats' bid to take control of the U.S. House.

Horsford won Tuesday in the 4th District, which includes the outskirts of Las Vegas and several rural counties in southern Nevada.

The incumbent, Democratic Rep. Ruben Kihuen, decided to forgo a re-election bid amid allegations of sexual misconduct.

The 45-year-old Horsford became the first African-American to represent Nevada in Congress when he won the seat in 2012.

The 61-year-old Hardy defeated him in 2014 then lost in 2016 to Kihuen.

It was one of two open House seats up for grabs in the western battleground state. Democrat Hillary Clinton carried Nevada in her loss to President Donald Trump in the last election.

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11:25 p.m.

Democrat Susie Lee has defeated Republican Danny Tarkanian in a key battle for an open U.S. House seat in the western swing state of Nevada.

Democratic incumbent Jacky Rosen previously represented southern Nevada's 3rd District but left to challenge Republican Sen. Dean Heller.

Lee is a 51-year-old Las Vegas philanthropist who raises money for education and disadvantaged women. She raised $4.5 million and outspent Tarkanian by a 2-to-1 margin.

The 56-year-old Tarkanian is the son of legendary UNLV basketball coach Jerry Tarkanian. Danny Tarkanian lost to Rosen by fewer than 4,000 votes in 2016.

Tarkanian launched a bid earlier this year to knock off Heller in the GOP Senate primary but backed off under pressure from President Donald Trump and others.

Lee lost in the 2016 primary to Democratic Rep. Ruben Kihuen (KEE-hune) in the neighboring 4th District.

11:23 p.m.

Nevada Democratic Rep. Dina Titus has won re-election to a fourth term, cruising to victory over Republican Joyce Bentley in the heavily Democratic 1st District covering most of Las Vegas.

The 68-year-old Titus is a longtime political science professor. She served a term in the neighboring 3rd District before first winning her current seat in 2012.

Bentley is a former Las Vegas businesswoman and real estate agent who didn't report raising any money for her general election campaign.

10:06 p.m.

A state election official says the last voter has cast a ballot and Election Day has ended in Nevada, nearly 3 hours after polls were scheduled to close.

Deputy Nevada Secretary of State Wayne Thorley says lines were longest in Washoe County, where voting ended at just before 10 p.m. Tuesday at an unspecified polling place.

Voting ended about 30 minutes earlier in Lyon and Clark counties, where people who arrived in line before 7 p.m. at polling places at malls and schools were allowed to remain in line to vote. Others were turned away.

Thorley says preliminary election results will begin being released soon.

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10:05

Nevada Democrats are cheering the party's success in picking up U.S. House seats Election Day.

The crowd gathered for an election night celebration in a ballroom at a Las Vegas Strip casino-resort is cheering every time a TV shows Democrats have knocked off several Republican incumbents.

William McCurdy II is chairman of the Nevada Democratic Party. He says Nevada's ballot this year had the "strongest Democratic ticket we have seen."

Republicans, however, have already secured control of the U.S. Senate for two more years.

McCurdy told the crowd U.S. Sen. Dean Heller has "sold us out" in the name of his donors and the Republican Party.

Heller is being challenged by Democratic U.S. Rep. Jacky Rosen. He is the only GOP senator seeking another term in a state Hillary Clinton won.

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10 p.m.

Republican Adam Laxalt is watching election returns with his family in a room at a Reno hotel-casino while hundreds of his supporters gather in a ballroom for what they hope will be the gubernatorial candidate's victory party.

Campaign spokesman Parker Biden says Laxalt personally made telephone calls to voters Tuesday night right up until the end.

The attorney general is running against Democrat Steve Sisolak to succeed popular GOP Gov. Brian Sandoval.

He's watching national returns on television because no Nevada results have been released yet due to long lines in heavy turnout that kept some polling places from closing on time.

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9:37 p.m.

Nevada Republican Sen. Dean Heller has taken the stage at a GOP party in Las Vegas to thank supporters and praise President Donald Trump.

Heller is running for re-election against Democratic U.S. Rep. Jacky Rosen. He went onstage briefly Tuesday night with his family at the South Point hotel-casino shortly after Republicans nationally clinched control of the U.S. Senate.

No results have been released in his race yet because people who were stuck in long lines at polling places across the state were still voting well after polls closed at 7 p.m.

Heller used his brief speech to tout the robust U.S. economy, saying it was "thanks to this president and this Republican Congress that put America and Nevada back to work."

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9:28 p.m.

Hundreds of supporters of Nevada Republican Adam Laxalt have gathered in a Reno hotel-casino ballroom for what they hope will be the gubernatorial candidate's victory party.

The state attorney general is running against Democrat Steve Sisolak in the battleground state, where popular GOP Gov. Brian Sandoval has completed his maximum two terms.

More than 300 Laxalt backers were snacking on popcorn, pretzels and fruit plates Tuesday night while watching election results on Fox News in the ballroom decorated with blue, white and gold balloons. It's filled with Laxalt campaign signs that say "Protect Nevada."

A big part of his campaign theme has been his vow to keep California values out of Nevada.

Laxalt is counting on the GOP's voter registration edge in Washoe County, Reno and Sparks to offset the big Democratic advantage in Clark County and Las Vegas, which makes up 70 percent of the state's vote.

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9:15 p.m.

A Nevada state election official says voting is still going on in three counties, and statewide election results won't be released until after the last ballot is cast.

Deputy Nevada Secretary of State Wayne Thorley says voting was still going on at 9 p.m. Tuesday at polling places in Clark, Lyon and Washoe counties.

That includes the Las Vegas and Reno areas, home to 87 percent of the states' voters.

Thorley says no results will be released until the last vote is cast.

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8:50 p.m.

Democratic U.S. Rep. Dina Titus says she sees enthusiasm among people waiting in line to vote after closing time at several polling places in Las Vegas.

Titus said Thursday she brought a tray of cookies to people in line at the Boulevard Mall in her district in Las Vegas and visited with people waiting at Roy Martin Middle School.

She says ballot printers malfunctioned a couple of hours before polls closed at 7 p.m. at the school, but people in line told her they were determined to stay.

She described the situation to The Associated Press by telephone on her way to another delayed poll closure spot at Rancho High School.

Titus says the enthusiasm she's seeing by Democrats is an indictment of the president and the Republican agenda, from health care to immigration.

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8:15 p.m.

The Republican and Democrat in Nevada's neck-and-neck U.S. Senate race are watching election returns privately before heading to election parties.

Republican Sen. Dean Heller's campaign spokesman Keith Schipper says the senator is watching returns with his family and staff in a suite at the South Point hotel-casino in Las Vegas, where Republicans were holding an election night celebration.

Democratic Rep. Jacky Rosen's campaign spokesman Stewart Boss said she was watching returns with her husband in a suite at Caesars Palace, where the Nevada Democratic Party was holding its celebration.

Election results were delayed because voters in line after polls closed were still being allowed to vote.