LAS VEGAS — Joseph Lombardo, the Clark County sheriff who rose to prominence after the 2017 mass shooting in Las Vegas, defeated Gov. Steve Sisolak of Nevada, a Democrat who faced intense criticism over pandemic-era shutdowns, according to The Associated Press.
Mr. Sisolak conceded to Mr. Lombardo shortly before The A.P. called the race on Friday. “It appears we will fall a percentage point or so short of winning,” he said in a statement. “Obviously that is not the outcome I want, but I believe in our election system, in democracy and honoring the will of Nevada voters. So whether you voted for me or Sheriff Lombardo, it is important that we now come together to continue moving the state forward.”
Mr. Lombardo focused much of his campaign tying Mr. Sisolak to President Biden, who won the state in 2020, but whose approval ratings have been dismal. Mr. Lombardo was endorsed by former President Donald J. Trump during the Republican primary this year, but did not make his policies or personality central to his campaign in the fall.
Instead, Mr. Lombardo presented himself as a law-and-order Republican who would focus on reducing regulations in the state, where the economy remains largely dependent on the gambling industry. Public opinion polls repeatedly showed that voters in Nevada, with a large working-class population, viewed the economy as the most important issue.
Economic conditions are mixed in the state. Mr. Sisolak often focused on the recovery since the start of the pandemic more than two years ago, as unemployment dropped to 4.4 percent from 28.5 percent in April of 2020. But inflation remains stubbornly high, and Mr. Lombardo consistently attacked what he called “Bidenflation” and high gasoline prices, which he similarly attributed to Democrats.