AG Adam Laxalt, other winners enjoy post-victory donation windfall; losses bring little

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CARSON CITY, Nevada — Nevada candidates who won their races enjoyed a postelection boost from donors, while those who lost got few consolation prizes.

Campaign finance disclosure reports that were filed by a Thursday deadline and cover the final two months of the year show donors rushed to sweeten the pot for the new elected officials.

Among the findings:

— Attorney General Adam Laxalt received the biggest postelection payout, raising more than $369,000 from just before the election until the end of the year. His hard-won victory over then-Secretary of State Ross Miller cost him almost $1.6 million, but he raised more than $1.8 million to cover those expenses. Donors who gave big sums after his surprise victory included several prominent law firms; the Recording Industry Association of America; cash-advance companies Dollar Loan Center and Advance America; several Station Casinos and MGM Resorts properties; gold mining companies; and gambling companies.

Campaign consultant Robert Uithoven said that many donors told Laxalt during the campaign that they were backing his opponent, but they would support him if he won. The postelection contributions were donors making good on those promises, he said.

— Attorney General hopeful Ross Miller raised more than $44,000 from Oct. 31 through Dec. 31, although he spent $259,000 during that timeframe. He sunk $2.6 million into his bid over the past two years — about $58,000 more than he received in contributions. Those who gave after his loss included the Nevada Bankers Association and identity-theft protection company LifeLock.

— Gov. Brian Sandoval received about $23,000 in contributions during the most recent filing period, much less than the $160,000 he spent. Most of his fundraising dollars rolled in during 2013, when he raised more than $3 million; and he spent more than $3.5 million in 2014.

— Underdog governor candidate Robert "Bob" Goodman raised no money from shortly before the election until the end of the year. In total, his campaign took in less than $10,000, and he spent about $7,600.

— Lieutenant Gov. Mark Hutchison raised just under $2.9 million in the last two years for his successful campaign, and spent almost $2.7 million in 2013 and 2014 to stave off primary challenger Sue Lowden and beat Democrat Lucy Flores. He raised just under $94,000 from after the election to the end of the year. Major donors who pitched in after his win included the owner of Dotty's casinos, Union Pacific Railroad, Kindred Healthcare and Accident Funding Group, which gives short-term loans to people in a personal-injury lawsuit.

— Lieutenant governor hopeful Lucy Flores brought in $11,000 in the final filing period and $828,000 in the past two years. She raised a little more than the $819,000 she spent in 2013 and 2014.

— Secretary of State Barbara Cegavske raised $93,000 from shortly before the election until two months after her victory over former Treasurer Kate Marshall. She raised $499,000 in the last two years, which was more than the $429,000 she spent.

— Marshall, who lost her bid for Secretary of State, reported raising about $6,000 from just before the election until the end of the year. She raised $893,000 in the last two years, and spent slightly less — $889,000 — over that period. The two donations she received postelection came from Heavenly Valley Limited Partnership, a natural gas company, and the Washoe Education Association.

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