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Local Races Start Getting Called, As Parties Hold Dueling Watch Parties in Washoe County

Kira Hankel and Henry Stone report on local Democrats on Zoom and in person Republicans reacting to early results.

Washoe County Republicans held a watch party at the Silver Legacy, as several results started coming in.

Cheers and Predictions

Cheers went up in a ballroom at the Silver Legacy casino in downtown Reno as media called Nevada’s 2nd Congressional District for Republican incumbent Mark Amodei over Democrat Patricia Ackerman shortly before 11 p.m.

Republicans in the room attending the Washoe County GOP watch party also had their eyes on the night’s big race.

Theresa DeGraffenreid, whose husband is an electoral voter in Nevada, believes that Nevada could swing either way, but she believes Trump will be able to slip through winning Nevada’s vote, and its six electoral votes.

“I don’t know,” she said. “I’m hoping, I actually think that Trump might be able to slip in there… Cause we’ve worked so hard to get them there.” Early results seemed to indicate otherwise, but the overall national presidential race seemed in limbo well into the night.

Zack Clark, a freshman at UNR, had a detailed prediction for Nevada in terms of the presidential race. “Biden will win Clark County and Trump will win all other counties. Vegas is such a different environment and they traditionally vote left and our state swings left because of their large population.” Washoe County though seemed to be giving Biden the early edge.

A Zoom for Democrats

Democrats held a Zoom earlier in the evening, with lots of local races too early to call.

“Fingers crossed we get good results tomorrow morning,” said the progressive Sparks City Council Ward 1 challenger candidate Wendy Stolyarov. “I’m cautiously optimistic, waiting until everyone has voted and been heard.”

A few hours later, though, she conceded in her own race via Facebook.

“We’re passing good policy that leaves no one behind,” said U.S. Senator Catherine Cortez Masto, who started a six-year term in 2017, defending Democrats overall. “There’s so much at stake not just in Nevada but in the future of this country. And our kids!”

Other speakers included Reno at-large councilman Devon Reese running for re-election with an early lead on his challenger Eddie Lorton, and City of Reno Ward 1 Councilmember Jenny Brekhus in a very tight race against J.D. Drakulich.

Due to the pandemic, leading state Democrats, including Governor Steve Sisolak, decided to hold a Zoom watch party instead of any in person gatherings.

Reporting by Kira Hankel and Henry Stone for the Reynolds Sandbox



A pop up election newsroom from the Reynolds Sandbox. We covered the 2018 cycle and will be back for 2020.

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