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Image: Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak speaks with fire officials on May, 5, 2022 in Carson, Nev.
Nevada Democratic Gov. Steve Sisolak speaks with fire officials on May, 5, 2022 in Carson, Nev.Ty O'Neil / SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Nevada Gov. Sisolak hits Joe Lombardo on crime in new ad

In a new TV ad, Governor Sisolak's campaign uses former President Donald Trump's words against Lombardo.


Governor Steve Sisolak, D-N.V., is out with a new ad running on Fox News across the state today, attacking Clark County Sheriff Joe Lombardo on crime.

The ad highlights Sisolak's spending on resources for law enforcement, citing statistics showing that Nevada provides the largest amount of money to law enforcement in the U.S. as a percentage of their total state budget.

Then, the ad accuses Lombardo of overseeing rising rates of homicide across Clark County.

Homicide rates in the county rose in 2021, but they've declined in the first half of this year.

The ad also highlights former President Donald Trump's comments from a recent visit to the state, where he told supporters Nevada is "a cesspool of crime."

Despite Trump's comments at the event about crime across the state and across the country, the Associated Press reports that the rate of violent and property crime in Clark County has gone down almost every year since 2015.

At the same event where Trump made those comments, Lombardo also highlighted the issue of crime in the state, blaming any increases in crime on a bipartisan criminal justice reform law passed in Nevada in 2019.

In a statement to NBC News, a spokesperson for Lombardo's campaign cited the 2019 law and others signed by Sisolak to paint the governor as "soft on crime."

"It is irrefutable that these statewide soft-on-crime policies have emboldened criminals, demoralized police, and directly contributed to crime in Nevada," Elizabeth Ray, Lombardo's campaign spokesperson, said.

Ray also pointed to Sisolak’s opposition to expanding the police force when he was Clark County Commissioner. But Sisolak later reversed that position and voted for the measure that funded more police officers. And, as governor he signed legislation making the measure permanent.

"Joe Lombardo has been endorsed by nearly every major law enforcement group in Nevada and 16 of 17 Nevada sheriffs. Steve Sisolak’s attacks against Joe Lombardo are an attack on all law-enforcement across Nevada," Ray added.

A spokesperson for Sisolak's campaign told NBC News that Trump's comments show the division between Trump and Lombardo, despite the fact that Trump endorsed Lombardo’s campaign in April.

"Even Donald Trump — who came to Nevada to try to save Lombardo's flailing campaign — is calling Lombardo out for his failed tenure and the 'cesspool of crime' on his watch."

Public surveys show Lombardo and Sisolak locked in a tight race, with a poll earlier this month finding that 44% of voters planned to vote for Sisolak in November and 40% planned to vote for Lombardo. 7% remained undecided and 9% planned to vote for someone else.