Sheriff Joe Lombardo wins Nevada governor race amid claims Trump nearly withdrew his backing for failing to call him ‘great’

Sheriff of Clark County narrowly defeated Democratic incumbent Steve Sisolak for governor

Graeme Massie
Los Angeles
Saturday 12 November 2022 17:33 GMT
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Sheriff Joe Lombardo won the race to become Nevada’s next governor amid claims Donald Trump almost withdrew his endorsement after he failed to praise him as a “great” president.

The Republican narrowly defeated Democratic incumbent Steve Sisolak in the Silver State, according to a call in the race made by the Associated Press on Friday night.

The Sheriff of Clark County infuriated the one-term president during an October debate in the swing state in which he had failed to give Mr Trump full-throated praise for his time in the White House.

According to The New York Times, Mr Trump called Ronna McDaniel, the chairwoman of the Republican National Committee, and threatened to dump Mr Lombardo.

Ms McDaniel asked for one hour to fix the situation, people familiar with the situation told the newspaper, and Sheriff Lombardo quickly put out a statement calling Mr Trump a “great president.”

A week later, during a rally with Mr Trump in Nevada, Mr Lombardo took to the stage and effusively praised the former president.

“The greatest president, right? Donald J. Trump,” he told the crowd.

Mr Sisolak conceded the race on Friday night.

“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 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. That is why I reached out to the sheriff to wish him success.”

Mr Lombardo said in his own statement that he was “honored to have the opportunity to protect and serve our entire state.”

And he added: “Our victory is a victory for all Nevadans who want our state to get back on track. It’s a victory for small business owners, for parents, for students, and for law enforcement. It’s a victory for all Nevadans who believe that our best and brightest days are ahead of us.”

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