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Las Vegas Sun: Campaign reports show Nevada Democrats positioned to bounce back from 2014

Nevada Democrats are out to prevent a repeat of the massacre they suffered in 2014, when Republicans gained control of the state Legislature and swept the state offices.

Political observers say that’s one of the takeaways from campaign finance disclosures filed last week by candidates for this year’s election.

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Democrats rake in more money than the GOP in Nevada

The state Democratic Party raised almost twice the amount that the GOP collected last year — $874,000 to $442,000.

Those numbers don’t take into account funds raised by the parties’ Assembly and Senate caucus funds, which are recorded separately from donations to individual candidates or to the parties at large. The Democrats’ Assembly and Senate caucuses collected $347,000 and $270,000, respectively. Those numbers far outstripped donations to the Republicans’ Assembly and Senate caucuses — $24,000 and $84,000, respectively. (The totals only include contributions in excess of $1,000, and amounts less than that are not included under total contributions.)

Those numbers reflect a strong push by Democrats in the wake of a Republican sweep in the 2014 election, when the GOP gained control of the state Legislature and all state offices, said Fred Lokken, a political science professor at Truckee Meadows Community College.

“Frankly, given the legislative session, given the election of November 2014, given that Harry Reid is stepping down, this is not a year he wants to see his heir apparent or any other Democrat to do poorly,” Lokken said.

By contrast, Lokken said the challenge for Republicans was to mend a fractured party, exemplified best by the recent spat between Lt. Gov. Mark Hutchison and Attorney General Adam Laxalt over a lawsuit in support of the state’s school choice program.

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